Posted Jul 26th, 2012 (9:00 am) by Nick Arnemann
Plague, Crystal Castles

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Crystal Castles is fierce, and we don’t mean in the Tyra Banks way. We’re talking near-terrifying, screeching bombast. Their new track “Plague” exemplifies the electro-noise duo’s masterful balance of melody and cacophony into one swirling, metallic assault.

Vocalist and Toronto native Alice Glass herself bounces from extreme to extreme, playing with her soft voice’s limits from a near whisper to punk-esque shouts of “I am plague.” Healthy doses of reverb and other treatment ensure her claim is not taken lightly. Instrumentalist Ethan Kath wrangles sharp synthy blasts from his machinery, ranging from a ghostly pop(-ish) hook to groaning metal and exhales of breath found only in horror movies.

Swirls of atmosphere build up to the tinny lo-fi stabs that comprise this song. Nary an ounce of bass can be found here; the low thuds of bass drum here stick out like intruders and jolt the listener every so often. This track is pure witch house, an electronic genre based on the slightly more sinister, industrial and noisy side of house music. Crystal Castles sends a shiver up your spine and exhilarates while giving you something to bop around to with “Plague,” and who can ask for more out of five minutes?

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