New Yorkers Crystal Stilts have released two albums of moody, ponderous noise-pop to general critical acclaim and their show at the intimately sized Madame Jojo’s on 2nd of August should be one of the last opportunities to catch them in a venue of this size if their commercial stature starts matching up to their reviews.

The band take to the stage and launch straight into the swaggering ‘Sycamore Tree’. Singer Brad Hargett bears a resemblance to Jim Morrison in both appearance and voice, and tonight the cheap projector blares an endless montage of swirling colours straight into his eyes as he recants lyrics like “See the girl by the sycamore tree/she knows she’s looking at me/she follows me down to the sea”, while wearing a blank, spaced-out expression.

Sonically Crystal Stilts capture the dark atmosphere befitting their lyrics, with Joy Division style mechanical drumming and snarling guitars; their uniqueness comes in their marriage of the post punk revival sound with Spector-esque organs.  Other songs from latest LP In Love With Oblivion like ‘Flying into the Sun’ and ‘Through the Floor’ are rapturously received, while the highlight is ‘Shake the Shackles’, an energetic track that is nonetheless fed through the band’s typically apocalyptic lens.

Exuding effortless cool and aloofish charm throughout, Crystal Stilts maintain a crisp and tight set that ends with an encore of the slower numbers ‘Blood Barons’ and ‘Sugarbaby’. Coupled with the punk glamour of Madame Jojo’s, one is really able to feel that this is what a rock show should be like, the kind old timers with tattoos on Denmark Street rave on about.

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