Crystal Castles

Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles
Critic Score
Based on 18 reviews
2008 Ratings: #323 / 757
Year End Rank: #45
User Score
Based on 481 ratings
2008 Ratings: #35
Liked by 11 people
March 18, 2008 / Release Date
LP / Format
Different, PIAS, Last Gang, Lies / Label
Synthpop / Genres
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Consequence of Sound
With their self-titled, full-length debut, Crystal Castles have become the next big thing to music fans and the music press. But then again, they do have a similar pedigrees to many other acts who have at one point or another, donned the same title, so maybe it shouldn’t come as much as a surprise…
Drowned in Sound

Glass’s voice, too, is the same that’s been luring lusty seamen onto the rocks for millennia, but the way it and the drums are textured – so that the machines they’re passed through sound like they’re melting away – brings Crystal Castles to the outer edges of greatness.

As media characters, they may be difficult to love, but it’s easy to get seriously smitten with the music. New rave is over. The likes of frYars, Late Of The Pier and Crystal Castles are taking electro into darker, more interesting territory. No glowstick required.
On their self-titled debut, Crystal Castles (aka Ethan Kath and Alice Glass) hurl eight-bit bleeps, bloops, and noise as relentlessly as Space Invaders marching down a screen, turning these sounds into sometimes chaotic, sometimes moody synth pop with a jagged edge.
Resident Advisor

What consequently appears contradictory on paper somehow sounds terribly coherent on album, and the duo’s eponymous long player reveals itself to be an engaging beast.

This isn’t music made by humans, but characters–the kind found in grainy fantasy cartoons and garage-sale videogames. If you can buy into that world, this is an album that flirts with brilliance.

It’s hard to choose the highlights on Crystal Castles, which includes a collection of former limited-release seven-inch singles from a bevy of obscure labels.


Crystal Castles prefer traveling light. While the hotly-tipped and already hotly-contested Toronto duo's basement party set-up doesn't look like it'll fill up the passenger seat on a tour van, they also like to play fast and loose with their associations. They've remixed at a Hot Chip-like pace for everyone from Bloc Party to Uffie to Klaxons, but they're not a part of your nu-rave genre (really, who is?), or blog house for that matter. Their de

but LP partly picks from 7" and 12"s that have been available in some format since 2005, and it's every bit as difficult to pin down.

Entertainment Weekly

Like the sweet-but-sick sounds of Ladytron, the Toronto boy-girl duo of Ethan Kath and Alice Glass create everything from adolescent plastic pop suitable for Dance Dance Revolution workouts to furious thrashings that recall a gamer maniacally wrangling a joystick.

Tiny Mix Tapes
Crystal Castles are wading in a very similar pool, mixing together ironically nostalgic Atari 8-bit chips into a porridge of electronic dance grooves.

A battery-powered fortress of disorienting electro-punk, Crystal Castles serves as the perfect introduction to the twisted world of Ethan Kath and Alice Glass.

Eight-bit bleeps and crazed cackles transcend novelty.
The Skinny

Toronto-based Crystal Castles are the kind of band whose persona and music screams ‘WE ARE SO SCENE!’, and the fact that they appeared on the most try-hard of yoof programmes Skins shows what an, erm, imaginative and exciting angle this shouty duo are trying to come from.

Slant Magazine
Such a record might tend toward the soporific, whereas this one simply makes several loud, flow-disrupting mistakes.
The Observer
Canadian duo Ethan Kath and Alice Glass have got cartoon savagery up the wazoo.
Coke Machine Glow

There needs to be half as many ideas, but with more vivid color.


Ultimately it’s a reasonable effort which fosters a lot of potential.It’ll be far more rewarding for all concerned once Kath and Glass realise alearning curve straightens out only when they choose to.

The Guardian
It's all manic with youthful enthusiasm but unsatisfyingly feels half-finished, as if Crystal Castles are still struggling to mould these wonderful sounds into something coherent.
The vibe that I get everytime I listen to “Untrust Us” can be revered by me as nothing less than a monumental achievement
The idea of this album is better than the reality for most of the runtime.

Compositionally speaking, more than a little bit flimsy.

Disappointing because when it's good it's very good.
#100 of Benny’s Top 100 Favorite Albums

This one was a very fun and easy listen. I loved the vocals and the catchy chiptune. It feels like I’m trapped in a video game, and it’s a video game I feel like i’m going to be coming back to a lot.

best tracks: untrust us, courtship dating, through the hosiery, reckless

worst tracks: xxzxcuzx me, good time, love and caring
A really good, really unique album. This album certainly sounds like it is a precursor to the hyperpop and bit pop albums that have been becoming popular recently. While this doesn't have the over-the-top-ness of 1000 gecs, Crystal Castles makes up for it by playing very simple music that sounds very good. I really like how the tone of this album was handled, it managed to feel like an ambient album at some points while still maintaining plenty of noisy elements.

Thank's to Glass's heavily ... read more
listened high: great
listened sober: still great
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Track List

  1. Untrust Us
  2. Alice Practice
  3. Crimewave
  4. Magic Spells
  5. Xxzxcuzx Me
  6. Air War
  7. Courtship Dating
  8. Good Time
  9. 1991
  10. Vanished
  11. Knights
  12. Love and Caring
  13. Through the Hosiery
  14. Reckless
  15. Black Panther
  16. Tell Me What to Swallow
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