First Look: Crystal Castles – “Crystal Castles II”

Crystal Castles IIIf you’re looking for music on Crystal Castles’ second self-titled album (and second full-length overall), you need look no further than track 2. “Celestica” is a buoyant dream-pop effort that slashes at its Sally Shapiro-esque synth safety net with static and experimentalist noise held barely at bay — a rose heavy with thorns. The band walks this fine line a few more times over the 14-track album (“Empathy” and “Suffocation” make for an excellent mid-album 1-2 punch), but never again with such perfect balance. Like the controversy-baiting lo-fi group’s abysmal debut, much of Crystal Castles II is unlistenable bullshit that I’m sure sounds great either 1) In a practice space at 2 a.m., on drugs, after getting sick of LCD Soundsystem and striking out with the girls/boys at the party you just left or 2) Between the ages of 15-19, after years of aural conditioning from iPod earbuds and 128kpbs MP3s. Enjoy what you can.

Crystal Castles – “Celestica”: mp3

(Crystal Castles II is out now)