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Rave, racket and resent: remembering the rancid electro legacy of Crystal Castles

There are few bands that ring in as much personal teenage nostalgia as Canadian electro outfit Crystal Castles.

‘Alice Practice’ is basically as synonymous with my angsty mid-teens as getting pissed on the opening night of the Easter Show and Pete versus Toby singlets.

crystal castles alice class Edith Frances ethan kath

Negativity, noise and no fucks given: where did Crystal Castles aggregate their non-conformist legacy and how did the duo keep it up?

The band’s 17-track long, self-titled debut album began a run of musical output that, while slightly left of centre, managed to perfectly capture the flurry and confusion of youth… the type of music your parents would deem “noise”.

A decade on from that saw the release of Amnesty (I). The sheer, screechy vocals of Alice Glass may have vacated the group, but the most recent offering from the adjusted lineup features the same glitchy electro-beats, clashing sonics and slick sampling we’ve grown accustomed to over the last 10 years and three records.

For the first time since 2013, and for the first time with Edith Frances in the mix, Crystal Castles hit our shores.

The group, notoriously known in the past for a strong, often aggressive live presence have reportedly lit up each and every stage they’ve graced while touring on this album, with Frances bringing her own flare to the chaotic, glitchy, frantic tracks of Amnesty (I) on stage.

And why wouldn’t they? Music made to be intentionally counterintuitive, aggressive and sometimes offensive lays the attitudes of its creators bare. Ethan Kath and his off-siders don’t showboat for fans or media, somehow inspiring a rabid following in their fans nonetheless.

Years on from the repetitive melodic racket of Vanished and Celestica, these guys still have the ability to make you feel like you’re living through an episode of Skins with dark, slightly sadistic, brain numbing (in the nice way) sounds, capable of making you drift off anywhere but to sleep.

 

Crystal Castles are on tour as we speak, hitting some huge venues around Australia. Catch their dates below, and head here to grab your tickets.

Tuesday 30th May – The Tivoli, Brisbane QLD
Thursday 1st June – The Forum, Melbourne VIC

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May 30, 2017

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