Crystal Stilts, Angel Island and The Mantles

Sat May 7, 2011
Rickshaw Stop
$10 - $12
Indie Music, Music


Crytal Stilts

Back in 2008, a lot of heads turned to clock Crystal Stilts’ Alight Of Night, their first album after a string of here-today-gone-tomorrow singles and EPs. It wasn’t exactly a surprise – Crystal Stilts felt like part of a new age dawning, of underground collectives and random, crazy groups who’d rediscovered the joys of noise-pop and set about creating their own Creations – but there was something unique about Crystal Stilts, something hermetic yet gorgeous about the world they created. With their new Slumberland Records album, In Love With Oblivion, they stretch things further still, honing their songcraft, indulging their more strung-out sides, full of elliptical verses and perfectly chiming guitars, cranky pop organs and the punkest of rhythms. It’s a perfect blend of pop smarts and beguiling experiment. The best songs on In Love With Oblivion are effortless, rapturous – “Through The Floor” burns on fevered energy; “Silver Sun” kisses the air with a beautiful stream of jangle guitar; “Alien Rivers” is a spooked, psychedelic requiem, roughly Opal’s Happy Nightmare Baby + 14 Iced Bears’ “Mother Sleep” x Victor Dimisich Band. (But that was my math, not theirs.) “Precarious Stair” is my favourite girl-pop-song-not-actually-fronted-by-a-girl since, I dunno, “Just Like Honey."

“This is one of the best garage pop sides since The Chills’ own Brave Words.” –-The Wire

Angel Island

"The frontman for Angel Island, Justin Goldman, has one of those voices that feels right at home taking on spidery melodies about heartbreak. One part Andrew Goldfarb (the Slow Poisoner) and one part Brett Anderson (Suede), Goldman’s voice leads the charge on churning potboilers like 'Kicking & Screaming' as well as more uptempo, tambourine-driven fare like 'What It Means, Where It All Comes From.' Recommended if you like the sounds of their Shit Krystal labelmates, Billy & Dolly." --Noise Pop

"Piling layers upon layers of imagery, Justin Goldman creates a lyrical world not unlike a Dylan-esque acid trip (if Bobby wrote more songs about girls, anyway).

Fronting the San Francisco-based band Angel Island, which was formed in the Fall of 2008 and con sists of Pascal Gar neau (guitar), Robert Jakubs (drums), Erik Hay hurst (bass guitar), and Ian Eurysm (key boards), Goldman lays bare his emotions with painfully autobiographical lyrics one moment before building up walls of psychedelic metaphor to hide behind the next. Behind the voice are musical echoes of 20th century rock and pop that evolve as if filtered through each decade, pick­ing up strange bed fellows along the way. A 6/8 dance hall ballad suddenly shifts into nineties shoe-gazer territory and finishes with a Moog synthesizer solo that would make Linda McCartney blush—all in one song lasting under three minutes."

The Mantles

"The Mantles is the kind of album that defies expectations. Its shades of New Zealand-ry (an organ sound and laconic vocal delivery not far from Flying Nun groups such as the Chills and the Verlaines), its Paisley Underground touches (some reviewers have mentioned Steve Wynn and Dream Syndicate), and its better-than-NME's-C86-cassette pop appeal seem very au courant, but come across as natural as breathing. ... the Byrds-y jangle of 'Disappearing Act'; the churning propulsive energy of 'What We Do Matters'; and maybe most of all, the brooding balladry of 'Look Away,' a now-I-see-you-now-I-don't relationship ode which possesses a kind of offhand melodic and vocal strength that sounds easy to achieve, but obviously isn't, because so few ever manage to do it." --SF Bay Guardian

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