Crystal Stilts: Radiant door (Ep, 2011)

En cierta manera coincido con nuestro amigo Don´t Eat the Yellow Snow cuando dice que el formato Ep les viene de maravilla a Crystal Stilts. Esto es así porque quizás el formato extendido de todo un Lp se les haga un poco largo. Lo que sí es verdad es que en este Ep, los neoyorquinos se han quitado un poco las legañas joydivisianas de su anterior entrega, In love with oblivion (2011), para entregarnos un Ep algo más florido y variado. A mí me da que en realidad se trata de una colección de temas descartados de aquél, incluyendo un par de versiones. La oscuridad da paso a un ramillete de temas más floridos y positivistas: Dark eyes, Radiant door, Still as the nightcover de Sanford Clark de tonos Spaghetti-Western-. El único vestigio de su segundo álbum lo encontramos en la velvetiana From inside the asylums, que cierra el Ep. Por lo demás, prefiero la oscuridad Post-Punk de anteriores entregas.

Crystal Stilts – Radiant door (Ep, 2011)

“Radiant Door is not a radical departure from that default sound; its Kilgour Brothers-indebted style makes it safe to assume kiwi is still the most important item on their tour rider. But not all groups have to rely on the benefit of reinvention. The non-vocalists of Crystal Stilts are incredibly good at adding a Technicolor flair, crafting arrangements so colorful that they often veer into kaleidoscopic territory. Two of the five songs on the EP feature the quintet nakedly putting its record collection at the forefront of its consciousness, this time in the form of recorded covers. The band’s take on Blue Orchids’ “Low Profile” is a key example of this; it’s faithful enough to the original to be recognizable, but the Stilts’ heavy lifting– as it mostly always does– comes from keyboardist Kyle Forester and guitarist/co-songwriter JB Townsend, the former turning in a simple-but-catchy three-note riff, the latter sounding like he’s been planting Joshua Trees around Brooklyn.
The EP’s other cover, Lee Hazlewood’s “Still as the Night”, finds the band in spaghetti-western outlaw mode, exploring a style they’ve heretofore never tried. The song is spare in a way that’s uncommon to the band. It doesn’t quite work with a singer like Hargett, whose booming voice (that sometimes wavers in and out of key) is far more suited to weathering the band’s stormier moments than trying to fill in gaps. Though “Still as the Night” is a good song that falls just short of being great, it doesn’t stall the band– they’ve always been adept at playing to their strengths, and the rest of the EP’s 21 minutes are full of gleaming keyboard lines and jangly guitars casting sun on everything in sight. For a band that has proven it can do darkness just as well, Radiant Door is exactly as its title suggests– the brighter side of one of America’s best psych-pop bands” (

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