Friday, June 06, 2008

Song of the day

"Converging in the Quiet", by Crystal Stilts. One of my problems with bands like Franz Ferdinand and the myriad other exponents of the Post Punk Revival style is that they tend to adopt the vocal stylings of their heroes (be it Robert Smith, Pete Shelley, that Curtis fellow, or whomever) and apply it to music that is bright, crisp and, like, "up".

That is not my post-punk, and it is probably not yours, either. The best p-p, for me, presented a kind of moody beauty, not exactly gloomy (although there was often that) but certainly not good clean fun, either. We are talking, here, about "Closer"; about Young Marble Giants; about certain songs on Wire's third album; even about the first couple of Echo & The Bunnymen albums. We are especially talking about "Pink Frost" by the Chills, one of, perhaps the, greatest record ever made. (For once I mean it.)

All of this is imagined, recreated perhaps, encapsulated certainly, by Crystal Stilts, a band that has seemingly appeared out of nowhere with a seven-song record of surprising depth, feeling and understanding of the heritage and tradition on which it draws. (We may also, in addition to the above reference points, note the nods contained in its grooves to bands like Beat Happening, and your shoegaze exponents of choice.) The instant highlight "Converging in the Quiet", which almost uncannily channels the feel of "Pink Frost" without diminishing what is important about that song. I almost never like songs that remind me of songs that mean a lot to me. Such is not the case here. It is not a song that draws any attention to itself. You are invited in, but only if you want to go.

The only possible negative is that structurally it does contain an echo of Pat Benatar's "Love Is A Battlefield". There, now I've spoiled it for you. (Although that is redeemed, and forgiven, by the echoes of "Closer" in the way it winds down, as if the life was being drained from it, in the final half minute.)