My name is Nash Whaley, and if you’re reading this, you’ve found my blog. This year, I will be reviewing music. And no, I’m not going to post updates on the latest Kesha album, nor do I care whether Weezy is back in the slammer. The focus of my blog is to explore music to which the casual consumer might not ordinarily be exposed. In case you’re wondering, this blog is not intended to pander to the typical hipster. Rather, it is intended for anyone who has grown tired of the monotony of MTV consuming culture. My only interest is music. If you have any questions or recommendations, feel free to comment.
Now that I have that taken care of that, I’d like to start with a look at the brand new album by the experimental noise duo, Crystal Castles. This band, comprised of Ethan Kath and Alice Glass, is quite unlike anything I have heard. Ordinarily I don’t ever get in to glitch music, but the lo-fi recording style coupled with the screaming vocals of Alice Glass creates a hauntingly brilliant arrangement. Their album, Crystal Castles II, has come a long way from their first, self-titled release of 2008, which sounds not dissimilar to the screeching of dolphins, or a nail dragging across a chalkboard.
This time, they aren’t up to their usual moody train wreck. Through heavy synthesizer beats, bass and drum, comes wonderfully distorted feedback. The result: perfection. The listener is still lost in a state of utter confusion and apprehension, but in the coolest way possible.
The fourth track is called Baptism. It starts with an introduction on synth, followed by four minutes of screaming, distorted vocals, and delightfully screeching feedback.
Perhaps Crystal Castles’ most ambitious track was “Year of Silence,” featuring a deformed sample of “Inní mér syngur vitleysingur,” (Within me sings a lunatic) by Icelandic post rockers, Sigur Ros. I have always found Sigur Ros to be a rather unique group, but hearing the sample through miles of feedback and distorted synth took the song to new heights.
This being said, if I could select one defining track, it would be their take on “Not in love,” by Platinum Blonde which, in addition to the album version, was also released with the vocals of Robert Smith of The Cure. Now I know what you’re thinking: how could anyone possibly cover tasteless new wave 80’s rock in a sophisticated way? Well, you’ll just have to listen to the song.