by Gary Fletcher
Crystal Castles are the dynamic duo of Ethan Kath & Alice Glass. The band was formed by Ethan in 2003, originally starting out as a solo project of his own compositions. When Ethan saw Alice performing in her noise-punk band, Fetus Fatale, he thought she was just what he needed to make his music complete. In 2005, Ethan gave Alice a bunch of tracks and she recorded vocals over a few of them. During one of the microphone tests, she was secretly recorded which later became their first single, Alice Practice. In 2008, the first Crystal Castles album was released which received mostly favorable reviews. It was included in the "Top 50 Greatest Albums of the Decade" by NME Magazine, coming in at number 39. I say mostly favorable, because Crystal Castles are described by many as the type of band either you love or you hate.
Their long-awaited second release has been completed and has a scheduled release date of June 7th in Europe and June 8th in the North America. The self-titled album was produced by Ethan in various places including a church, a self-built cabin, and a garage behind an abandoned convenience store. Here is the track list:
- Fainting Spells
- Doe Deer
- Year Of Silence
- Violent Dreams
- Pap Smear
- Not In love
- I Am Made Of Chalk
If you are like me and are anxiously awaiting the arrival but are looking for an immediate fix, on April 17th they released a 12" vinyl titled "Doe Deer" exclusively for Record Store Day. Only 500 copies were pressed worldwide, so it may be hard to get your hands on. It features the new track "Doe Deer" as well as three tracks they recorded back in 2004. The tracks are: "Mother Knows Best," "Insectica" and "Seed."
A day earlier, the EP "Celestica" was released which has five tracks including "Celestica," "Insectica," "Seed," "Mother Knows Best" and "Celestica (Single Mix)". At the moment, it is only available online in the iTunes UK store.
Crystal Castles kicked off their spring tour on April 3 in Toronto. I went to their show at the Fillmore/Irving Plaza in NYC on April 14th and was able to hear some of their new songs firsthand. I thought the new tracks were great and can't wait to hear the album versions. They played an enthusiastic hour- long set to a sold-out audience. I was up on the balcony for the first few tracks but decided to head downstairs into the crowd to experience Crystal Castles the way they ought to be—up close and personal. I do wish Alice's vocals were turned up a bit as Ethan's crazy beats were drowning her out. Other than that, I thought the show was fantastic. I don't regret getting only four hours of sleep before I had to head to work the next morning. I am going to try to catch them again when they come back to the east coast later this summer.
I took a shot of their set-list that was sitting on the soundboard from the previous night's performance at the Echoplex in Los Angeles. They played pretty much the same set just in a slightly different order.
Below are some of their remaining tour dates.
Catch them if you can.
April 22 @ Ritter Butzke in Berlin
April 23 @ Trouw in Amsterdam
April 24 @ Botanique Orangerie in Brussels
April 26 @ Nouveau Casino in Paris
April 27 @ Rohstofflager in Zurich Switzerland
April 28 @ Magazzini Generali in Milan Italy
April 30 @ SOS 4.8 Music Festival (Estrella Levante) in Murcia Spain
May 1 @ Queimodromo Parque da Cidade in Portugal
May 4 @ Coliseum in Lisbon
May 19 @ Heaven in London
June 4 @ Rock Im Park Festival in Germany
June 6 @ Rock Im Park Festival in Germany
June 11 @ Rockness Festival in Scotland
June 27 @ Glastonbury Festival in UK
July 8 @ Les Ardentes HF6 Festival in Belguim
July 11 @ Exit Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia
July 31 @ Emmaboda Festival in Sweden
August 6 @ Fox Theather in Oakland
August 7 @ HARD Summer at Los Angeles State Historic Park in Los Angeles
August 9 @ Ogden Theater in Denver
August 11 @ Stubb's in Austin
August 13 @ Congress Theater in Chicago
August 14 @ Koolhaus in Toronto
August 15 @ Metropolis in Montreal
August 17 @ House of Blues in Boston
August 18 @ Electric Factory in Philadelphia
August 20 @ 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.
August 21 @ Terminal 5 in New York
August 22 @ Sonar in Baltimore
August 27 @ Leeds Festival in UK
August 28 @ Reading Festival in UK
September 4 @ Electric Picnic in Ireland