Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Crystal Castles – Celestica

And at long last, we are finally down with the kids…


Alfred Soto: When I close my eyes and imagine what the textures of an indie-dance heaven might look like, I hear Curve remixed by Tiesto.

Doug Robertson: There’s a nagging suspicion that they were listening to “Lonely Days” by Future Bible Heroes shortly before sitting down to write this, but even so, this is something special. Less aggressive than previous, though still with enough edge to make you think twice before setting fire to their beehive, this is beautiful in the same way an iPad is beautiful: sleek and shiny, but with raw, sparking power buzzing away under the surface if you dare to invalidate your warranty.

Kat Stevens: Electroclash chancers finally live up to their fairytale name with this shimmering ethereal ice palace banger. It’s not quite a perfect diamond, as something about the Dubstar-wispy vocals makes me feel weirdly uncomfortable. It’s like I’m trying to resist the White Witch’s offer of unlimited Turkish Delight, because deep down I know it will be always winter and never Christmas.

Mark Sinker: Roswell — a highschool soap about the misery and angst of being gorgeously pretty sexy teen-human aliens — had a (likeable) Dido song as its theme tune. This is the song the aliens in question would have chosen for that role, had they been asked: made up of gorgeously pretty-shaped elements, and utterly and intensely slight and self-absorbed.

Martin Skidmore: It sometimes sounds awkward and indecisive, sometimes wafts around to no great purpose, but there is some pop and techno drive in a few places. I like that half of it, but it kept losing my interest.

Chuck Eddy: I’m not gonna deny this is kind of pretty. But I never liked trip-hop or shoegaze much the first time around. This is one or the other, right?

Tom Ewing: Dress it up however you like, in vintage electronics and strange presets, but this is the same old Velvet-y trick of seducing an audience by out-blanking them. Frosted prettiness over noise, each drawing the other’s sting: that’s the general Crystal Castles deal. On “Celestica” they forget the noise and go fully new age: it’s a low-functioning fuzzball of a song, a duet for two smears and a drum machine. You’re never in danger of feeling anything listening to Crystal Castles but they do this kind of sleep-deprived diffidence better than most.

Ian Mathers: In which the enfants terrible reveal that not only are they like Ladytron in that they’ve outlasted the half-baked ‘scene’ that supposedly spawned them, they’re like Ladytron in that they, uh, sound a bit like Ladytron. Circa Witching Hour. Plus a Canadian accent and a little extra glitchiness. There are much worse things to sound like, especially when you’ve got such a lovely line in singsong-y choruses.

Katherine St Asaph: In a few weeks, this’ll either be achingly pretty or complete mush. Alice’s Stina Nordenstam twitches bring it closer to the former, and if this is the direction Crystal Castles is going, it’s not as if Stina’s making new music. [6]

8 Responses to “Crystal Castles – Celestica”

  1. Haha there’s something super-appropriate about the fact that almost all of us reacted to this with marks in that guarded 5-7 midrange.

  2. definitely would’ve gotten a six from me though it improved over time. That goddamn electronic cricket!

  3. Not seeing much staying power for this, myself. I still want new Stina (although the music itself sounds nothing like her, and this isn’t even one of the tracks where she’s sampled; it’s just the stray inflection or two in Alice’s voice.)

  4. [10] album version is the best thing i’ve heard in 2010. you seem to be listening to a demo version with strange treble issues.

  5. I was reviewing the album version actually!

  6. Wait, these guys sample Stina Nordenstam? That’s kind of awesome.

  7. Not on this song, but on Violent Dreams and Vietnam (although the sample’s distorted nearly beyond recognition.)

  8. I’ll have to try and listen for them.

    I kind of love the live version we’ve linked to above; all of a sudden you can’t make out the vocals at all. It’s oddly “Gardening at Night” of them.