Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles (Last Gang)
22 Apr 2008
"crystal castles sets out its stall with the casually iconic photo that is the front cover; yeah, that's right casually iconic. they're not trying; it's just f**king cool... indeed, this lax approach is a big part of the album's brilliance, though also it's fatal flaw - i mean it's, like, a year late..."; release -'08
Crystal Castles sets out its stall with the casually iconic photo that is the front cover; yeah, that's right casually iconic. They're not trying; it's just f**king cool...
Indeed, this lax approach is a big part of the album's brilliance, though also it's fatal flaw - I mean it's, like, a year late. A year after 'Alice Practice's blend of riot grrl angst with Game-Girl bleeping first tic-tac-toed up your nostrils and expanded the synapses in your mind. I mean, it still does that, but will only have the exact effect on this album if you've been living in Aberystwyth with no TV reception and had your NME subscription swapped with Doggers Monthly. In which case you're probably not reading this review.
So, taking the typically cool, nonchalant late release of this album as read, is it any good?
The first three tracks are perfect: he twists and distorts her vocals as she acts as muse to the uncontrollable jitterpunk bleepage; but this is no patriarchy. The sexiest frontwoman in years, and the only picture features her face down, concealed; an entire body flipping the birdie to the conventions of attractiveness.
It's not a party album; its a shambling mess that, not dissimilarly to Foals recent (and much better) Antidotes [Editor's note: Tim Dellow put out the Foals album via our sister label Transgressive. That said, it IS ace], lulls you into a more depressive form of "dance" before slamming you out of a coma like security with brash level jumps and distorted screams.
But, there's no denying it's an unfocussed, overlong mess of a record: maybe a reaction to the flood of precise sanitised albums the prior Brit-shit wannabe's have fed us, and an attempt to teach the next generation the art of perseverance for greater rewards with music (see Pavement's Wowee Zowee or Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica, or indeed anything by Zappa)? Or maybe, in fact, it's a lazy filler lead money shot by these two painfully cool kids who know that their public are only going to download the singles anyway.
In a response they'd be proud of; I don't really give a shit. I'm too busy grinding up 'Crimewave' and inserting it into every orifice on my body to care.