Crystal Castles at the TLA 10/7/16

crystal-castlesEthan Kath and Alice Glass form Crystal Castles a duo that began in Toronto. The band is known for their chaotic live shows and lo-fi melancholic homemade productions. Which was displayed in their show at the TLA. They released many limited vinyl singles between 2006 and 2007 before releasing a trilogy of critically acclaimed albums between 2008 and 2012 .

Crystal Castles was on the brink of collapse in 2014, after founding vocalist Alice Glass announced her resignation on Facebook. “Although this is the end of the band,” she said, “I hope my fans will embrace me as a solo artist in the same way they have embraced Crystal Castles.” This was heartbreaking for fans, so it was a relief to see that the replacement singer, Edith Frances stepped in and rocked the part. I and other fans were excited to see that the band would not end with the removal of Alice Glass.

Amnesty (I) was released on August 19th and was the first Crystal Castles record starring Glass’ successor, the mysterious Eimgresdith Frances. Recorded in London’s famed Konk Studios, founded by the Kinks, Amnesty (I) reflects the hostility which developed between Glass and Kath. The new album features the hissing, clapping electronics that have become a Crystal Castles staple, however the album’s tracks seem more measured and melodic. ‘Enth’, ‘Sadist’ and ‘Concrete’ are as ear-scraping but Kath pulls off an old trick: offsetting noise with melody to make something danceable. I did not pick up the awkwardness that Ben Homewood of NME explains, “Ultimately, it’s confusion that remains at the end of ‘Amnesty (I)’. Crystal Castles always were an uncomfortable band, but the bumpy conception of this album and the awkward introduction of new ideas dampen even its most teeth-chattering moments.” To me, Amnesty (I) is both gritty and danceable.

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