Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Crystal Stilts - Love is a Wave on Slumberland

Finally, a new single...I just was disappointed after that UK single that basically was everything already on the album. So, UK, are you up to speed now?
This A-Side sounds really hopeful, or let's say optomistic. Love is a wave? It's more like what was I worried about? The drums are off in the distance, keeping the usual Frankie time, which makes this, as usual. She is the key to the debut album....and the Vivian Girls for that matter. She is a machine...pure consitency. Making frantic exhausting pounding essential.
'Angels prostituting?'....they really lay it on thick, like the Velvets, I guess they are playing with that contradiction; happy sound with fucked up depressing lyrics.
The thing I'm worried about with this sound as a listener is where do they go from here? Have they painted themselves into a corner with this sound? Would I be happy to listen to this for a few more albums? I guess they are going to answer this eventually.

Not with the B-Side 'Sugar Baby', this is just way to optomistic. I can understand the lyrics more...I'm not in love with this. The darkness is kind of gone, it's like they are reinterpreting that 50's reverb too much... it's too surf rock. He's even singing with emotion!!!! Why is he trying to sing. It's just subtle but it's enough to make this sound like it's coming from a different place. Would I have liked them if this was the first single I heard?
Strummed guitars...too kitch, I get it, this is kind of done ironically? I want sincerity! Be honest and work with those elements...I love them, but don't reference them...ike you are a cover band for an era. Disappointing...this song is not in line with what I was loving about them in the first place.
I mean these are the questions you ask yourself, how much am I falling for everyone's shit?
Do I even know what I like?

Get it from Slumberland, it's on white vinyl, and I like the label on the 45...very classic:

We’re thrilled to be able to bring you this ace single, featuring two brand-new songs not to be found on their album. Love Is A Wave is a firm favorite of the band’s live show, a perfect two-minute pop nugget in the best punk rock tradition. Fired by an insistent fast-strummed riff, an eager beat and barely-contained feedback, Love Is A Wave is an instant classic that stands tall with tunes like “Never Understand” and “I Heard Her Call My Name” in the noise-pop pantheon. B-side Sugarbaby is no slouch either, sounding for all the world like The Clean if they had been produced by Lee Hazlewood back in Arizona in the late 50s. With a spookily evocative keyboard line, breathless backing vocals and undistorted twang, Sugarbaby could be from 1959, or 1969, or 1989. But it’s pure 2009, and another great example of how Crystal Stilts have managed to mine rock’s past and create something entirely new and crucial for today.


  1. sloweducation1:01 PM

    Haha. Do i even know what i like is a question i seem to be asking myself a lot these days. besides the silver jews, mountain goats and pavement all other music is suspect. I think it has something to do with the non stop dropping and over consumption of music. i dont know about you, but before i can really dig my teeth into something and figure out if i really like it, something else is knocking on the door. Like this lo-fi craze, how much shit do i have wade through. Grass widow sounds kinda like the Vivian Girls but grass widow slay them IMO and i dont even know why. and i was/am into the crystal stilts but like PoBPoH, how many albums can they drag this out for? **rant over**

  2. It does seem like there's a lot going on at the moment. I can't complain, I'd rather have a bunch of stuff I'm trying to figure out and can barely keep up with than nothing. I don't spend enough time with half of this stuff definitely...and I haven't even heard grass widow yet! Here we go again.

  3. Anonymous1:36 AM

    I don't think Frankie played on the album. It was made three years ago before they had a drummer. Or so I understand.

  4. I meant Frankie played on this single...I just checked the sleeve credits. She definitely is listed playing drums.
    But you're right, on their self titled 12", I don't know who is playing drums...she was still with the Vivian Girls at that point.

  5. I have to say I don't agree with sloweducation's assessment of the Stilts' sound. i think this new 7" is a great departure from their full length, which is mostly material from 2-3 years ago. I think the next album will be even better than the debut, at least, if this 7" is any indication...

  6. Mark,
    I hope they keep up with the feel of the self titled release. So far they are super consistent and have found a great balance of fuzz/psyche and depression.