With the return of Crystal Castles and their second self-titled album Ethan Kath and Alice Glass are heralding the dawn of a new type of musician by a return to the arrogance of the classic rock-stars.
Now I know by labelling them rock-stars people will probably want to throw bricks or synthesisers at me, but really what else are they? They play electro, oh right sorry. Wait, but doesn’t Glass scream a lot? So screamo it is then. Actually aren’t some of the songs fairly poppy in temperament? You see now we’re stuck. Call them noise, call them pop, call them what you like – Kath will have your head for it.
Both Ethan Kath and Alice Glass look like unsuspecting rock-stars with angular self-cut black hair and leather jackets. They look a little like the scene kids everyone tries to avoid to be honest. Just from a photo you can tell they are the awkward type and this has been confirmed by practically every interview they have ever given. Clearly they are going down the “we don’t give a shit about the fame and money” route. Classic. Apparently Ethan is lovely when discussing anything but his music. They are rock-stars and you know it.
Two albums in two years isn’t bad by any means either. They can be as tragic as they like if they have the music to back it up and here are two individuals who truly are masters at what they do. Kath programmes all his own equipment, from keyboards to phones and probably some old Nintendo’s too. Glass on the other hand is the mad front-woman who is more than likely on drugs while throwing her self around the stage. Never before have game noises made you want to dance like an epileptic on pills.
It is this pixelated noise quality that polarises people between love and hate for Crystal Castles. I can understand how and why people would dislike them; in-fact it seems like the easier option, but nobody else has or is currently doing anything similar to them, and that in itself is an achievement. They are the 21st centuries answer to rock-stars. They are awkward, angry, different, and excessive. No longer are the cocaine addled sex lives of Motley Crue interesting to us, but the pill fuelled nightmares of hooded creeps.
These two excruciating individuals have the mentality of a gang and when you hear the music you do imagine them exactly as they are. If others jump on the electric bandwagon I fear the music will be passionless. Crystal Castles are the only viable future for this scene and they will probably relish that.