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[Electro]

Crystal Castles

Crystal Castles

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Crystal Castles, Crystal Castles
Annie Zaleski

On their self-titled second album, Canadian dance-floor terrorists Crystal Castles tone down the haywire 8-bit fireworks and banshee screeches of their debut, in favor of streamlined songwriting and nuance. (Mostly: Drilling beats interrupt the bustling electro-pop instrumental “Intimate,” while distorted vocals and machine-gun keyboards smear “Doe Deer.”)

The Details

Crystal Castles
Crystal Castles
Four stars
Beyond the Weekly
Crystal Castles, official site

Highlight “Celestica” is a shimmering dream-pop twirl in the vein of Blonde Redhead’s airiest moments, while “Vietnam” and “Suffocation” sound like perforated techno-goth from the ’80s. Tribal electro (“Year of Silence,” “Empathy”) and New Romantic swoons (“Violent Dreams,” “Pap Smear”) round out the genre diversification. More important: Crystal Castles sheds the band’s hipster-than-thou stance—meaning that music, not attitude, elevates the band above its peers.

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