YOUNG PRISMS, Cloudland Canyon
1019 E. Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ, 85014
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 6:30 PM
Back in 2008, a lot of heads turned to clock Crystal Stilts’ Alight Of Night, their first album after a string of here-today-gone-tomorrow singles and EPs. It wasn’t exactly a surprise – Crystal Stilts felt like part of a new age dawning, of underground collectives and random, crazy groups who’d rediscovered the joys of noise-pop and set about creating their own Creations – but there was something unique about Crystal Stilts, something hermetic yet gorgeous about the world they created. With their new Slumberland Records album, In Love With Oblivion, they stretch things further still, honing their songcraft, indulging their more strung-out sides, full of elliptical verses and perfectly chiming guitars, cranky pop organs and the punkest of rhythms. It’s a perfect blend of pop smarts and beguiling experiment. The best songs on In Love With Oblivion are effortless, rapturous – “Through The Floor” burns on fevered energy; “Silver Sun” kisses the air with a beautiful stream of jangle guitar; “Alien Rivers” is a spooked, psychedelic requiem, roughly Opal’s Happy Nightmare Baby + 14 Iced Bears’ “Mother Sleep” x Victor Dimisich Band. (But that was my math, not theirs.) “Precarious Stair” is my favourite girl-pop-song-not-actually-fronted-by-a-girl since, I dunno, “Just Like Honey."
“This is one of the best garage pop sides since The Chills’ own Brave Words.” –-The Wire
“Quite simply, Alight Of Night is one of the most breathtaking records these ears have been partial to in a long while, and even if Crystal Stilts never make another record, their legacy is assured.” –-Drowned In Sound
“One of the year’s best albums.” –-Brooklyn Vegan
If ‘slacker’ means ‘purveyor of angst-ridden badass psychedelic rock,’ then the Young Prisms qualify. Five such slackers comprise this band: Jason Hendardy, Jordan Silbert, Matt Allen, Stef Hodapp, and Gio Betteo. Silbert is the old man, at twenty-four, and all five recently dropped out of various unsatisfying academic situations—Hendardy from a media arts program at California College of the Arts, Jordan from a behavior analysis master’s track in Fresno, and Stef, Matt, and Gio from a Bay Area community college.
What they did instead is they moved into a roach infested apartment in San Francisco’s Mission District and started pumping out dark, driving rhythms overlaid with melodies that pulse and build and then break over you. It’s some of the best stuff coming out of a city exploding with brilliant new music. The group’s lyrics are laced with a kind of nonchalance (I’m thinking of one song off the new LP called “If You Want To,” as in “whatevs”) that devolves quickly into a grim, passionate poetry part My Bloody Valentine, part Sonic Youth, part Charles Bukowski, part some kind of uncategorizable sparkly ecstasy. Whoa.
So consider this a warning issued with an inviting grin: this music will make you want to drop acid and become a recluse. Or it will make you even less excited to work your shitty day job. Or it will make you jump up and down in a dark crowded room while your eardrums bleed. Or it will make you feel something secret like happiness, minus any sentimental whimsicality. Or it will make you want to read Sarte, or graphic comic books, or maybe Hunter Thompson. And in one hundred years when people want to know what it felt like to be young on the West Coast in the early new millennium, they might just put on this record, by these rising kings (and queen) of Psychedelic Slackerdom.