Album: Crystal Castles, III (Fiction)

 

The third Crystal Castles album, which features a photo of a Yemeni child being cradled by his mother after a tear-gas attack, was recorded in Warsaw and Berlin, and deals with themes such as oppression, corruption and other dystopian realities of 21st century living.

It is, you'll have gathered, probably not one for the Christmas party. It may, however, be the album on which Alice Glass and Ethan Kath make the step up from being glacially cool third-wave electroclashers to a far more powerful artistic force.

Produced, for the first time, entirely by Kath and recorded on to analogue tape rather than digitally (it's strange to see a "no computers" policy from a band as futuristic as Crystal Castles), III shudders and shimmers like some massive, monstrous machine. But, when heard loud, the more accurate metaphors come from nature: flashes of lightning at the top end, earthquakes and landslides at the bottom.

As usual, the listener can barely make out Glass's impassioned shrieks, but one cannot mistake the apocalyptic mood and intent. If the Mayans were right and the world really is going to end this December, you won't hear many better soundtracks than this.

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