Crystal Castles
Crystal Castles III


2.0
poor

Review

by derho USER (31 Reviews)
December 1st, 2012 | 19 replies | 1,572 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is no longer the dancehall of my nightmares

4 of 5 thought this review was well written

It’s been 6 years since Crystal Castles released their first single. Bands are like people. Some mature and gain wisdom with age, while others refuse to grow up. A select few reach the dreaded brick wall of dark faux-enlightenment and end up just being jaded. We tend to avoid those people. Negativity can be suffocating. All we can do is hope, for their sakes, that they figure out what a waste of time it is to be stuck neck-deep in depressing thoughts all day long.

Crystal Castles’ third release, "III", is a funny thing. The band clearly, in their own way, were grasping at the mainstream here, but that doesn’t mean its welcoming. Quite the contrary, the mixing is odd, alternatively distant and abrasive. They’ve taken sandpaper to their sound, and in some places just rubbed a little too hard for too long. The dynamism and momentum of past releases are gone, no matter how hard the forceful club-beats try to convince you otherwise.

In contrast to the evenly-paced "II", more restrained (I shudder to say accessible) numbers dominate here, and generally end up sounding watery. When the band does go off (and they do), it seems more slapped together mess than carefully orchestrated chaos. “Insulin” plays a half-hearted electro-hardcore jam that got mangled somewhere between Pro-tools and the final pressing. The idiosyncrasies that seemed so fresh before (ex: sampled vocals as an instrument) seem worn out. It’s not that they couldn’t have been used effectively, there just wasn’t a will for it.

This is the music of a group that has seen a darkness, but it’s in no way enlightening. In fact, it comes off as patronizing, sheltering. “I’ll protect you from/ all the things I’ve seen” vocalist Alice Glass deadpans over the subdued spasms of “Kerosene.” We’re big kids, Alice. We can handle it.

The band’s iconoclastic status makes it all too easy for defenders to write off missteps as social statements of some kind. But statements still need to say *something*. I’d prefer to think of the Castles as drained, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to say they were bored in the making of "III". The repetition and lack of originality, paired with some mild weird-you-out effects, fails to capture me as satirical barbing of boring top-40 trash. It’s more of a dry parody of their earlier work.

Crystal Castles have always made the music for the resistance to some imagined Orwellian world-state, so what is "III"? Are they telling us the struggle just isn’t worth it anymore? This is a band that has been tenaciously experimental throughout their career. I really hope they get back on track.

4.5/10



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user ratings (267)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
diseasedracoon (4)
Crystal Castles 2012 album (III) is like diving into a warped, melancholic world governed by bleak d...

disappearhere (4)
Returning with their third album, Crystal Castles show that they are more consistent than ever. Surp...

BrianE (4)
Alice Glass is aghast with world injustice...

Robert Lowe CONTRIBUTOR (2.5)
We demand to be taken seriously...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2012



50093 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Sweet

Digging: Tiny Moving Parts - Pleasant Living

derho
December 1st 2012



307 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

glad to have a bit of consensus. I saw the rating distribution and got confused. Am I missing all the "excellent" in here?

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2012



50093 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I don't know man, my review got neg'd hard because of the rating

derho
December 1st 2012



307 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

awk hahah so much for my nice looking approval rating. Oh well, I'm sticking by it

Funeralopolis
December 1st 2012



11225 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so much for my approval rating

1 out of 1 liked it

Digging: Banks - Goddess

derho
December 1st 2012



307 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I was referring to Trebor's comment about people's response to his review

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2012



50093 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

If you post a review for an album a while after it came out on the weekend you won't get neg'd hard usually
Unless it's like Brand New or something

PistolPete
December 1st 2012



3591 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Still don't get the hate for this, it was pretty solid IMO (nothing truly special, but solid). Well-written though, that first paragraph really spoke to me. Thank you.

Digging: Jolly - The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 2)

WashboardSuds
December 1st 2012



4992 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Still don't get the hate for this"

ditto

Digging: Gas - Nah und Fern

Tyrael
December 1st 2012



20824 Comments


sigh

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2012



23806 Comments


"Am I missing all the "excellent" in here?"

no, this band really fucking sucks, but everyone likes them for some reason. I can't figure it out.

GlassApplesause
December 1st 2012



12 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

the 3.6-7 average ratings for each of their albums doesn't entail that "everyone" likes them

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2012



906 Comments


Good work here, pos. Still need to get this, I enjoyed their second album.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2012



21790 Comments


singer's hot 4.5/5

Digging: Gesaffelstein - Aleph

someguest
December 2nd 2012



20393 Comments


singer's hot 4.5/5


what the fuck are you on?

and can I have some?

Polyethylene
December 2nd 2012



3058 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

She's hot in a weird anorexic banshee way. 3.5/5

Polyethylene
December 2nd 2012



3058 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Which is also my rating for this album atm, cccooosssmmmmiiiicccccc

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
December 2nd 2012



21790 Comments


http://images.askmen.com/women/singer/alice-glass/large_image-1.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cb/Alice_Glass_C.jpg/800px-Alice_Glass_C.jpg

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
December 2nd 2012



31092 Comments


I mean she's not unattractive, but...

Digging: Banks - Goddess



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