Last night I wandered down to The Warfield Theatre on Market street in San Francisco to check out Crystal Castles! I only had a mezzanine ticket but I made the most of my vantage point and snagged a few songs with my new Q3HD pocket cam. Here’s Celestica, one of my favorite songs off of the new album. Ethan Kath makes with the bleep bloop while Alice Glass takes hits off a bottle of wine while raging the strobe lit stage in her medical boot and crutches.
And winner of the best sample of the year award goes to “Year Of Silence.” CC takes a portion of “Inní Múr Syngur Vitleysingur” by Sigur Rós, slows it down and chops it up before laying down the most brutally chilling bass line I’ve ever heard. It sounds as if some sort of lumbering monster from the shadow world has been awakened in Iceland and it wont stop until it’s hunted each and every one of us down.
Best Moment: Right at 2:22 when the synth drops out and it’s just us and the shadow monster for a few bars.
Crystal Castles demonstrate their ability to invoke a feeling of dread on their aptly titled track, “Suffocation.” We really can feel the weight pressing down on our lungs as Ethan’s synths grow louder and louder until suddenly they’re gone, leaving Alice standing alone. Best Moment: When it’s finally revealed to us at 0:32 and 1:52 that, no, Alice is not our savior. She just wanted us to hear the voice of our captor before letting us continue the helpless descent into our frostbitten grave.
On their second self-titled album, we find that Crystal Castles have fine-tuned their unique ability to be delicate and noisy at the same time. This sonic contrast also comes across in the lyrics as Alice indecisively croons “When it’s cold outside; hold me, don’t hold me.” Best Moment: When both Ethan and Alice burst forth from their icy prison at the same time at 1:00.