Music

Crystal Castles

Launching a brutal sonic assault on the ear drums, Toronto duo Crystal Castles mix the euphoria of rave with the ferocious snarl of punk to create storms of thundering electro noise. Legend has it that Alice Glass ran away from home at the age of 14 and was living in Toronto squats before meeting Ethan Kath, a guitarist playing in Stooges and GG Allin covers bands, while the pair was on community service. When Kath later saw Glass playing in her gothic punk band Fetus Fatale, he asked her to add vocals to electro recordings he'd made on a home-made synth, using part of an old Atari sound chip. Named after She-Ra's fortress in the cartoon He-Man, the band's riotous live shows quickly attracted attention with Glass becoming a completely fearless, unhinged front-woman - screaming, stage-diving and clambering on top of speaker stacks. Their status grew when the band appeared in an episode of Channel 4's teen drama Skins playing single Alice Practice, before debut Crystal Castles (2008) was acclaimed as one of the albums of the year and Glass topped the 2008 NME Cool List. Recorded in Iceland, Ontario, Detroit and London and nominated for the Polaris Music Prize, second album Crystal Castles II (2010) had a more melodic, spaced-out sound, featuring samples from Sigur Ros and an unusually delicate collaboration with The Cure's Robert Smith on Not In Love. Crystal Castles divide opinion like few others, but their knack of sounding like a 1980s arcade game choking on a Siouxsie and the Banshees record make them truly unique.

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07-07-2011