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Jack Cullen


Crystal Castles

With absolutely no promotion the band have returned with their second album, also hilariously self-titled.


Being one of the best electro acts of all time and generally not giving a shit about anything, Crystal Castles are never one to brown nose the press. Instead, they like to take journalists into the forest, strip them, tie them to a tree using N64 controller cables, throw a bit of glitter on them and leave them there to die. A whole host of music media moguls have already chased the Crystal Castles ghost train carriage – NME, The Guardian and a Dazed & Confused all spunked out a money shot cover shoot.

Here's a round up of what to expect of CC pt2:

One \ Fainting Spells

Subdued and scratchy screams beneath an art-horror buzzing of sorts, pushes into religious slightly Justice-marked territory. A very feedbacky ouverture. Who’s been listening to Cold Cave then?

Two \ Celestica

A shopping-centre reinterpretation of Courtship Dating with some trancey nineties-into-the-noughties PlanetFunk-esque vocals.

Three \ Doe Deer

The most hyped track from the album, it’s like a cot death zombie covering Firestarter. The trademark ripped tights and rape scene returns.
The Skins generation who turned 16 the day after Crystal Castles got big will particularly praise this one. It’s “legit” man.

Four \ Baptism

A personal favourite and also the one to feature in the Tim Noakes playlist (Dazed & Confused). This track ain’t no baptism, this is death by pixelated icicles whilst speeding on a rickety-rackety runaway mine train built out of second-hand synth chords. A proper treading popcorn into your Grandmother’s carpet and screaming ‘What do you want from me BITCH?’ dance floor unifier.

Five \ Year of Silence

A nice misty and mystifying sub-stomper. Not a driving song, I promise you. The vocal layering is clever and sounds a bit like when you used to deliberately press the buttons on too many toys in Woolworths at once. Nice little pseudo-euphoric break tucked into the first half.

Six \ Empathy

Addictive yet wonderfully nauseating. Empathy is like sitting on the swings in the park at dawn and feeling slightly sick. Welcome to Fischerspooner land. The exchanging of vocals is once again really effective. A slow but tricky computer game level. I like.

Seven \ Suffocation

You’re lost in an abandoned Cathedral. Ladytron is throwing a party in the crypt, Vitrallic are throwing a rave in the vestry. You’re invited to neither, so pull your pants down bend over, kiss the marble floor and pray boy.

Eight \ Violent Dreams

Alice has let go of your collar but Ethan will never let go of the 80s. A bit of a paddling pool no-goer, this is the track that comes on when you’re out in the garden and can’t be f**ked to go in a change it. The grass needs cutting. The end of your penis hurts a bit. Etc. (Jack your really need to visit a clinic. We're just not sure which one. - Music Ed.)

Nine \ Vietnam

Track n-n-n-nine. The buzzing of the intro is totally John Foxx Underpass but then we arrive with a pop in CC city. The looping is that of their Good Books remix that we loved last year. Slips through your fingers like warm ice cream. Weirdly enough Ethan manages to convey the hot bamboo backdrop of Vietnam a bit.

Ten \ Birds

Inspired by Hitchcock’s Birds or birds as in women? Who knows? This one’s a bit chimey. Starts off all ping but ends up a bit pong. I still love this album.

Eleven \ Pap Smear

Glistening and reliable, Pap Smear will be another playlist regular. Alice even sounds a bit like Björk on this one, Björk rummaging through the kitchen draw for a fork. A sharp fork.

Twelve \ Not In Love

Wow – a cover of Platinum Blonde’s iconic hit! Felix Da Housecat does it, Felix Buxton from Basement Jaxx does it and now Ethan has decided to step forward from the laptop deck too and sing something for the crowd. Nice choice Mr. Kath. We’re definitely in love.

(p.s. I use the word ‘sing’ very loosely)

Thirteen \ Intimate

Seriously high pitched. Alice releases her inner Tinkerbelle on Intimate but as always it ends up sounding like a pogo stick rave in a lighting shop. Another one for the plastic whistle post-GCSE army of lovers.

Fourteen \ I Am Made Of Chalk

Or, if you were to eat only chalk for two months your toilet trips might sound like the intro to this final track. I couldn’t help thinking of dying fish in oil spillages, but this tune is hands down absolutely beautiful. A professional, spiritual, aesthetic and calculated ending to an incredible second album.

And that’s it.

The long wait is over.

Now all we can do is listen to this record over and over again, go to work with it, fall asleep with it, make love with it, cry with it, and hopefully see Alice and Ethan live at some of this summer’s hot festival dates.

Crystal Castles second album Crystal Castles is out now. Summer tour destinations in Britain include Glastonbury, Reading, Rock Ness and Leeds. Although true die-hard fans will be making the pilgrimage to Exit in Serbia.



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