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Nature Noir

Crystal Stilts
SACRED BONES

I had avoided Crystal Stilts for purely shallow reasons. Like “wolf” names 10 years ago, the sheer number of “crystal” bands seemed suspicious. So many, in fact, I assumed none could really be authentic. While not far from the truth, Crystal Stilts’ spooky third album, Nature Noir, turns its inauthentic weaknesses into strengths. By marrying the haunted jangle of the Jesus and Mary Chain with the low budget, baritone-throated pop of Beat Happening, Nature Noir hits a certain sweet spot. Are they scoring points for originality here? Absolutely not. But the band makes up for it in style points. Because Crystal Stilts is not just mimicking some great bands here; they are pulling off a much trickier feat of mimicking the confident vibe that made those groups special.