Crystal Castles: Amnesty (I) review – brilliantly disjointed electropop


Crystal Castles’ fourth album is the first since frontwoman Alice Glass left in 2014, replaced by Edith Frances. What that means for the band’s chaotic live shows – Glass was agitator-in-chief – is not yet fully clear, but what it means for their records seems not to be a great deal. Glitchy beats, heavily treated vocals and passages of pulverising electronic noise are all still present, and there’s an abiding mood of kohl-eyed gloom. But if the sense of overfamiliarity is a bit disappointing for a band once lauded as experimentalists, producer Ethan Kath has also retained his knack for writing terrific hooks and warped melodies. Ornament and Kept are nuggets of brilliantly disjointed electropop.


Ally Carnwath

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Crystal Castles: Crystal Castles | CD review
Still glitchy, Crystal Castles' second album is more satisfying than their first effort, says Killian Fox

Killian Fox

01, May, 2010 @11:05 PM

Crystal Castles: (III) – review
The third album from Crystal Castles finds them swapping experimentalism for boring and abrasive trance, writes Hermione Hoby

Hermione Hoby

11, Nov, 2012 @12:05 AM

Article image
Crystal Castles: Amnesty review – digital cacophony from synth antagonists

Gwilym Mumford

18, Aug, 2016 @8:05 PM

Crystal Castles: Crystal Castles | CD review
Canadian synth duo Crystal Castles aren't as scary as they'd like to be, thinks Michael Hann

Michael Hann

20, May, 2010 @10:29 PM

Article image
Crystal Castles – review

The experimental duo's brain-splitting volume disguises the fact that Crystal Castles do little more than lace Prodigy rave with cheerleader chants, writes Mark Beaumont

Mark Beaumont

25, Nov, 2012 @6:45 PM

Article image
DM Stith: Pigeonheart review – brilliantly compelling
(Octaves/Outset Recordings)

Ally Carnwath

31, Jul, 2016 @7:00 AM

Article image
Reading 2008 review: Crystal Castles

Their messy techno-punk doesn't cause quite the reported mayhem of their Leeds gig, but it does feature the singer leaping from the speakers and playing dead

Rosie Swash

25, Aug, 2008 @4:46 PM

Article image
Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul: Topical Dancer review – wildly eclectic electropop
The Belgian duo’s debut album is a banging fusion of funk, house and techno that makes up for in mischievous energy what it lacks in subtle wit

Emily Mackay

06, Mar, 2022 @1:00 PM

Article image
Electronic CD


Dorian Lynskey

17, Apr, 2008 @11:26 PM

Crystal Castles, Astoria 2, London

Astoria 2, London

Ian Gittins

18, Feb, 2008 @12:06 AM