It's early, but I'm already going to claim this album of the year.
Since purchasing this record, I have not been able to put it down! Know that it is definitely not for everybody... some people won't be able to stand the weird assembly of glitchy atari sounds, but it is done in such a seamless way... and it becomes reminiscent of driving at night to some underground discotheque in Europe.
Ethan and Alice are the duo behind CC, and they do not disappoint. Alice's voice mimics that of "cute little girl tries to scream and sing on garage record (a la. CSS)" but I find her voice to be very appropriate, however it may be interpreted. Sometimes screaming, sometimes lulling... and the same goes for the music. Sometimes overwhelming, often soothing.
A definite buy.
on April 30, 2008
- House drum patterns throughout
- Ranges from happy electro to punkish glitch to introspective house
- Strong 80's dance pulse
- Very pleasant form of bleep-bloop music w/o much ugly noise
- Like a more human / DIY version of The Knife
- Experimental compared to most indie-pop, but very poppy compared to most noise groups
on May 10, 2008
As a child of the 80s, much of this sound is eerily familiar to me. It's somehow refreshing even while the beats creep deeper into my skull. Part dance, part techno, part rave, part Atari 5200, with a bit of anime thrown in. It's difficult to put down, so I highly recommend.
on March 25, 2008
I first saw/heard of Crystal Castles when they were opening for Metric in the fall of 2007, and ever since I've been in love. Despite a crowd that was not into them they still managed to rock out and put on a show. I had never seen an opening act as good as Crystal Castles, and I'm not sure I will again. This album is unbelievable, and sort of undefinable. I like to call it Industrial Electronica Nintendo Goth Art Music. You know a band is good when they don't even need coherent sentences or words at all to make a good song, and Crystal Castles pulls this off like pros. If your taste in music leans toward the somewhat abnormal and open to anything way then Crystal Castles is for you.
on April 22, 2008
I love this album! It's a very solid effort considering it's their debut. If you like electronic music and liked what your 8bit Nintendo sounded like, check these guys out. You wont be disappointed.
on March 31, 2008
Crystal Castles is amazing, and the funny thing is they are hard to describe!? It's 80's arcade sounds, house, dance, pop, craziness. Very addicting, and I've found my friends like it quite a bit even though it's not something they normally listen to. Great stuff, highly recommended!
on June 15, 2014
In the 80's...Cure (old cure esp'ly), new order, depeche mode, kraftwerk....
Music that let you dance....lose yourself....as if there were no tomorrrow...
I hesitated b/c the refs suggest experimental, video game noise....but that completely misses it...
This music is full of passion...electronica and dance...but it's submerged in decadance, a bit of melancholy, and degradation (vocals, melodies in minor) that overlays a tremendous life force that bursts up and soars...wounded. Crystal Castles is now at the top of my list...
on June 29, 2009
There's a lot that can be said of Crystal Castles. You could call them ignorant in reference to their alleged illegal use of Trevor Brown's artwork on T-shirts and posters. You could even call them pompous for claiming to have no influences whatsoever. Call them what you choose, but you'd be foolish to say their self-titled debut is anything short of top notch new rave. Ethan Kath and Alice Glass may be reckless with their egos, but they bring the goods when it comes to their music.
Their self-titled debut, turns its face on the robotic, emotionless stereotype of electronic music and injects within it attitude and raw edge. That's in part due to the vocal styling of Alice Glass. Rather than sing effortlessly over computer-generated beats, Glass screams and pleads in a punk-like fashion through lyrics riddled of pent-up aggression and uninhibited angst. The debut does have its calmer moments, but if you are looking for an album with a consistent pace, you most certainly won't find it here. "Untrust Us" opens the album with a modestly up-tempo approach centering around two lines of Spanish, informing that cocaine isn't good for your health. Possibly a drug awareness campaign or a recognition of bad habits... who knows? The album shifts into high gear with the barely audible XXZXCUZX ME. The track sounds of a 1980s videogame, 8-bit meltdown. And as if that weren't enough to listen to, Glass' lyrics ride the line of madness. "Just because we don't feel flesh, doesn't mean we don't fear death." But fear not, because the album slows from running full speed ahead to nearly a crawl on its closing track. Tell Me What To Swallow brings the album to a haunting, almost shoe-gazing atmosphere, with its whispers, vulnerability, and overall sense of emptiness. Not quite the expected ending, but if Crystal Castles wants you to know anything, it is to expect the unexpected.
Although a bit overwhelming, Crystal Castles does successfully push the envelope of electronica while managing to be more innovative than irritating. If you're wanting something a bit more challenging and above what's on the electro/dance shelves in your favorite music store, jump into Crystal Castles. The album may lack an overall consistency in terms of pace, but it's always interesting, never dull, and unnervingly catchy.
on February 9, 2009
At first I bought this and didn't take to this album it was too much electronic noise, but I heard a track at a club, Crimewave, and fell in love with the great driving 80's electronica beats, weird synth sounds, and computer altered voices. I could listen to this one over and over again and not be bored.
Some of the songs, I can't stand like Alice Practice, Xxzxcuzx Me, Love and Caring, and Through the Hosiery - way too much electronic noise for my taste.
The other standouts on this album are Courtship Dating, Good Time, Vanished, Tell Me What to Swallow. The beginning of Courtship Dating sounds like it was sampled from a bad pop song at the beginning, but as soon as you hit 22 secs the lush layering of sounds, beats, electronic noises, and intriguing lyrics are incredibly catchy. I love the enigmatic lyrics - you can barely grasp what they're trying to say. Good Times is just a catchy loop of solid 80s inspired pop kinda Missing Persons sounding without the quirky female voice - can get a little annoying with the repetition if you don't like it. Vanished is spacey, catchy, and haunting - has hints of New Order in the refrain. Tell Me What to Swallow - bare, acoustic, dark, and enchanting - hints of a darker Kate Bush.
on September 3, 2011
Well this is what it sounds like: thrashing guitar punk licks exchanged for a keyboard on the fritz, screaming vocals and rhyming lyrics for looped and broken words to the point of sounding like another language entirely, boring and rehashed drum beats and bass for nintendo and arcade sound FX. This is the sound of the next leap forward in music and it sounds much like Crystal Castles, the band leading the charge. Alice Glass and Ethan Kath have succeeded in moving beyond pioneering musical acts like the Chemical Brothers, Fat Boy Slim, Moby and even Daft Punk, in their harnessing and manipulation of video game sound and the human voice they have come as close as actual science to creating the sound of man and machine merged into one glorious form. It's more full of emotion than you could ever imagine a machine being... even more so than most people these days and certainly more so than most all new and popular music. While it is true that some artists have skated the edge of this new and beautiful sound, Crystal Castles is the only one (to my knowledge) that's dived in head first without any concern for their own sanity and it has paid off, creating a sound that is pure and unsullied by corporate culture and the social race for wide spread popularity. Whether they continue on this course and refine their craft into something even more amazing, or leave it for others inspired by them to do it remains to be seen, but for now Buy or download this album today and enjoy the sound of the future.