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It’s fair to say that psychedelic doom-and-gloom-rockers Crystal Stilts have cheered up considerably since we last heard from them in 2008, and there are more than a few tracks on their sophomore record that are tempting to throw enthusiastic go-go shapes at – the blindingly bright guitar and jangling tambourine on ‘Shake The Shackles’, for example, are utter bliss and totally infectious. Their lyrics, however, remain in the realm of the peculiarly gothic (falling through floors, black holes, burials, aliens… you get the idea), but, as anyone who likes a bit of Ziggy Stardust knows, dark sci-fi and plugged-in pop make superb partners, giving Crystal Stilts the opportunity to print their brooding garage trademark on some classic retro sounds: There’s something of the Shangri-La’s in the slow, sweet ‘Precarious Stair’, and ‘Prometheus At Large’ swaggers along with all the East Coast hipness of the Velvet Underground. There’s something strangely familiar about this album. It’s also a thrilling, addictive surprise.

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