Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles (2008)

Crystal Castles are a Hugh Grant movie, enjoyable sure, but about as enduring as yo-yos.

“Untrust Us” sounds as lethargic as its creators. It unsuccessfully attempts to lift a vocal sample, also seen on Death From Above 1979’s Heads Up EP, over an unfitting tempo, Not-iN*SYNC.

“Alice Practice” bleeps and bubbles with synthesizers haphazardly. Alice Glass yells emotively about something not entirely clear (being misunderstood?!). This song is also a false promise, it’s the album’s angsty highlight and it’s all too fleeting. Here, the sizeable difference between what Crystal Castles wish they were and what they are is not so noticeable.

The “Crimewave” mash up with HEALTH bobs along with a sexy I’m-so-detached-from-existence-you-want-to-be-me swagger. Momentum garnered from these 3 previous electr-ongs is quickly thwarted however, with the agonizingly repetitive “Magic Spells”. It plods along at a glacial pace for 6 minutes and reaches no peaks, nor troughs. It’s fashion runway ready.

The debut also suffers from tracklist sequencing. “XXZXCUZX Me” has hammering synthesizers which could easily induce a frenzy in first time listeners, this energizer should have been first. “Vanished” has an infectiously spooky melody, complete with Van She vocals.

“Tell Me What to Swallow” (Tell Me What Rockers to Swallow – Yeah Yeah Yeahs anyone?) wraps up the debut from these misfits who, because of this song, are actually clearly sensitive beings (misunderstood?!).

Crystal Castles are(n’t) better than you. They hold parties and you’ll never been invited. That said, Crystal Castles is one guest list that I’m only so happy to be left off.

I’ve never played the Crystal Castles game released by Atari, but I wonder how many lives you’re granted before it’s game over.

(58 - SM, 49 - MF)
Combined Rating = 54.3

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