Album Review: Crystal Castles Crystal Castles

By Scott Kara

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Rating: 4/5
Verdict: Turn this racket up

This is the kind of tuneful din that's rebellious, noisy and danceable.

Put it this way, your mother would hold grave fears for what you were getting up to if she heard you listening to it. Which is all the more reason to give the sometimes torrid, but always inventive clamour of Crystal Castles a go.

The second album from this Canadian duo - made up of electronic terrorists Ethan Kath (producer) and Alice Glass (singer) - is not as demanding as their 2008 debut album. But it's still a potent mash of everything from riotous trance, bleepy and pulsing electronica, and industrial strength noise and beats, all brought together by their own creative wildness.

It's all about pushing sound barriers and inventiveness in the name of warping minds and destroying dance floors. But also lurking somewhere in there is a hankering for a good tune, like on the cooing Celestica, the throbbing synth-drenched Suffocation, and the beautiful lushness of anti-love song Not In Love.

Elsewhere though it can be feverish stuff, like the 90-second digital thrash barrage of Doe Deer; Baptism is more like being lovingly bludgeoned by trance than any sort of cleansing; and the intro to last track, I Am Made of Chalk, is crippling before it opens up into washes of harsh ambience.

But it's Birds that's most exquisite, with its scorching hot squelches, distorted fuzz grooves, and Glass' eerie and distant yowl. It's due to combos of sounds like that which make this duo so intriguing.

- NZ Herald

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