Vandalism. You know the feeling you get right before it happens? The moment you grip it in your hand; arm above your head and cocked back? Or the instant just after you shake the can and right before you press down on the tip? How about the feeling you get right after it happens? The moment the brick goes through the window? Or the instant you step back to admire your work, only to be interrupted by the shouting and the bobbing of flashlights and dark silhouettes rapidly approaching you? Maybe you don’t know what I’m talking about and maybe, or rather, positively, I should just shut up, lest I incriminate myself further. But let’s assume for a second that you have at least some notion of the feeling I’m talking about—the seconds just before and just after. Your heart is racing from absolute terror, and yet it’s an oddly pleasurable and highly addictive type of terror. Well, this record is the soundtrack to that feeling.
Aptly-titled, III is the third album by Ethan Kath and Alice Glass, the Canadian experimental electro-noise duo collectively known as Crystal Castles. They are everything you wish you could be: shadowy, ingenious, skinny, and punk as motherfucking fuck. With percussion that thumps like a persistent authoritarian finger-tapping your congested chest and searing, agitated synths that spike into the backs of your eyeballs with the ease of a hot knife through warm butter, it’s the best dream you’ve ever had and your worst imaginable nightmare colliding face-first deep in recesses of your brain matter; erupting into a tepid, saccharine goo that flows through your body in a hurried uneasiness. I’ve never done heroin, but I’m guessing this is what the first taste is like. III is mood-altering, strangely danceable, and most of all, frightening yet beautiful vandalism.
8.5 / 10
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