Call it luck, fate, or simply the state of the game, but in the past two weeks Muddy Waters has been hitting it out of the park and playing host to some of indie rock’s most buzzworthy lo-fi lovers. First came Dirty Beaches, the achingly emotive, undeniably retro one-man project from new-school greaser Alex Zhang Hungtai. On Tuesday, it was Brooklyn trio Vivian Girls who stormed the Haley Street space, bringing with them a slew of slightly off-kilter, harmony-driven, ’60s-influenced pop-punk tunes. Come Thursday, it was time for fellow Brooklynites Crystal Stilts to shine and, despite a few technical glitches, they rose to the occasion.
With a five-member lineup, the band was undeniably the biggest sounding of Muddy’s recent offerings, making even softer tracks like “Converging the Quiet” feel downright booming. What makes Crystal Stilts’ show worth catching is, no doubt, the wonderfully muted tone and tremble in frontman Brad Hargett’s voice, which waivers between completely unintelligible and slightly British sounding both on record and off. In the live setting, Hargett relies on letting his lyrics fall equally into the mix, which created a couple of trouble spots for Muddy’s small system. But no bother; by the time the band hit the moody and cymbal-crash-filled “Shake the Shackles,” all had been forgiven, ending this bizarre run of garage-y rock on an undeniably high note.