Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Album Review: Crystal Castles


Today the Crystal Castles album dropped. I am currently wrapped up in a duvet on the sofa on the laptop, having spent most of last night vomiting into the bath. My original plan of preordering it off Rough Trade sort of slid off the to-do list at around the same time I found an entire leaked copy of the album as a zip file, after searching google for 'Crystal Castles album' to find the release date. At some point I will probably roll up to HMV and buy it anyway.

The album is 16 tracks long and includes a massive range of different styles. Because daytime TV is not what it used to be, here's a track by track review of the album.

01 Untrust Us
This song could be described as beautiful. It's strange and ethereal, like some kind of alien opera.
02 Crimewave (Crystal Castles vs. HEALTH)
An old favourite. It's a bit contraversial I'd say to put a remix on an album, but with HEALTH basically saying how completely in love they are with Crystal Castles at just about every oppurtunity they can get, it's not as if they are likely to object.
03 Alice Practice
Listen to this on headphones as you walk down a busy street and try to not imagine you are Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator. YOU CAN'T.
04 Magic Spells
The thing with these subdued sounding tracks is that they can sound almost more scary than the more 'thrash' songs. and the video makes it even worse.
05 Xxzxczx Me
06 Air War
This song is incredible fun.
07 Courtship Dating
How Timbaland can claim to not have stolen the backing music from this is a miracle.
08 Vanished
A remix of Van She's 'Sex City', I am told. I have to say I prefer this to the original.
09 1991
I'm sure this used to be called 1983
10 Good Time
the only track that does nothing for me. A poor bit of album filler if you ask me.
11 Love And Caring
Step into the shower. Turn the shower on. ARGH that's not water that's tiny shards of broken glass pouring out the shower ARGH I'm bleeding everywhere.
12 Knights
My five year-old brother said this song makes him think of monsters and the monsters are scary.
13 Through The Hosiery
This is basically a pop song that Girls Aloud or something could have done. And that's a good thing. I might be wrong and it might all be sorted on the actual album, but the vocals in this song seem to be a bit too quiet. And the last verse just fades out which is annoying. Otherwise, good.
14 Reckless
15 Black Panther
The tune is brilliant, but the vocal effects are a bit distracting. It was quite charming on the old tracks where the awful sound quality was due to the band using old broken microphones, but these effects here are just sort of distracting from the actual content opf the song.
16 Tell Me What To Swallow
What the hell? It's a bit of a cliche to have an acoustic track at the end of an album, butI think the idea of Crystal Castles conforming to a cliche is probably more surprising than them not. This really is not a brilliant song, but the bizzare soundscape just adds to the dizzying effect.

OK that was rubbish but I'm ill so you'll have to forgive me. Most of the new tracks are better recorded in the vocals, but also stylistically different in that none of them are really shouty thrash-rock. Which is OK for on the one album, but let's just hope it's not a decided change in direction for the band. More scariness please.


CC.† said...

jesus i really do love ur review haha , u got the feeling of it, i never got tired of listening this.

Tom OMG said...

Oh thanks.
I'm really liking your blog too!