By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Ethan Kath and Alice Glass of the Toronto-based electronic duo Crystal Castles allegedly took their band's name from She-Ra: Princess of Power's castle. Which makes sense because, y'know, stealing their name from the 1983 Atari arcade game of the same title, well, that would be too obvious.
And, actually, little about Kath and Glass' project, which they've been working on together since 2005, is all that obvious. Even while boasting its own fresh and original aesthetic, Crystal Castles still weaves a great deal of other musicians' works into its efforts: "Untrust Us," the first track off the duo's self-titled debut album, released last year, samples "Dead Womb" from fellow Canadians Death From Above 1979; other efforts feature more recent phenoms such as the Los Angeles-based noise-rock band HEALTH and Modular Records' electro-rock act Van She; still other samples find Crystal Castles paying homage to older acts such as '80s synth-pop trio Drinking Electricity, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five and Italian composer Luciano Berio.
A mishmash of borrowed and new, topped off with a trendy garnish, Crystal Castles' synth-thrash is unpredictable and, at times, sporadic—but most definitely worth checking out. As is the band's equally chaotic live show.
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