Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles (II)
Purchase on Amazon
There’s already both much to enjoy and much to look forward to when it comes to this electronic duo. Now two self-titled albums deep into their discography, Alice Glass and Ethan Kath from Crystal Castles are musically in the springtime of life, creating electronically emotional melodies that are a fine representation of their fresh-faced tenure in the spotlight. Their latest album is every bit as brilliant as their debut, though upping the ante with a more cohesive play-through that builds up, holds attention, and properly expires.
Acknowledging their young career, there’s a substantial feeling of tenacious naiveté that exudes through their sophomore contribution, expressing itself with an effective angst via both vocals and production. Sound system banger “Doe Deer” is a stressful endeavor, with Alice’s screeching cries accompanied by a stampede of distorted guitar and hostile percussion. Arguably the most immersive track of the year, it grabs you by the throat and does not let go. Partially composed, partially disordered “Baptism” shows the force of Alice’s tantrums, swapping between melodious and ill-tempered mayhem. Apart from a “Birds” tune that happens to place itself on the intrusive side of the fence, the juvenile scrappiness of the album is played perfectly. The naiveté, the angst, the juvenile vibes; it’s not inexperience or immaturity on the duo’s end. On the contrary, it’s a conscious creative approach that makes the album feel earnest more than anything.
Without optimism or positivity, Crystal Castles is set on an overwhelmingly pensive mood this time around. Two years ago they could get away with a “Good Time” tune without losing credibility. 2010’s model is melancholic by nature; a deep, consistent sadness from “Fainting Spells” to “I Am Made of Chalk”. It’s a state of sorrow that’s at times in the dumps, though mostly passing through the first stage of emotional outburst. This long-lasting suffering is the cohesion that sets it apart from its big brother. Although that may be the only piece of character that differentiates the two; lovers of the debut LP will more than likely find most of this newcomer to be a respectable follow-up.
Crystal Castles have eagerly accepted their responsibility to branch off of from the solid foundation they had framed a couple of years ago. With such beauty in the adversity, it’s hard not to enjoy the beautiful struggle this piece showcases from start to finish.