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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Crystal Stilts
Alight of Night
Slumberland

Rating: 8/10 ?


October 20, 2008
Despite coming from Brooklyn, the hipster mecca that spits out 'now' bands like sunflower seeds in Yankees Stadium, Crystal Stilts somehow manage to distinguish themselves from the crowd. Formed in 2003 by singer Brad Hargett and guitarist JB Townsend, the now-five-piece doesn't fall into the trendy musical trappings of its neighborhood.

Instead, the sound on Alight of Night is a swinging, noisy, glammy and overall dark evolution of garage rock. The opener "Dazzled" sways with a foreboding jangle and twang that, when coupled with Hargett's languid and somber bellow, invokes images of a Texas vampire saloon ala From Dusk til Dawn. Hargett's voice in fact looms like a gray, but welcome cloud over the whole record, especially on "Graveyard Orbit," a psych-goth tune littered with traces of Ennio Morricone and the Velvet Underground.

The proceedings aren't overly funereal, though. "Prismatic Room" is an upbeat pop number with melodies that wouldn't be out of place on a Phil Spector production. "The SinKing" is a driving quickie with all the implied sex and swagger of the Gun Club while "Shattered Shine," despite its title, is about as radiant as Psychocandy-era Jesus & Mary Chain.

After honing their act in New York's bars and backrooms while opening for inspirations like The Vaselines, the Stilts have fleshed out a classical sound that was first realized on singles and an eponymous EP. Rather than overzealously mine the past and carry their influences on their sleeve, the band simply chooses to ride alongside them…and spill a little blood along the way.

Reviewed by Kiran Aditham
When not contributing to LAS and other music/film publications, Kiran Aditham toils away during the day in Manhattan as a reporter for an advertising magazine…though he’d rather not say which one.

See other reviews by Kiran Aditham

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