-By Unlikely tunes to be listening to in the desert-

Now, this record comes almost a decade after the first and marks a new start for the band after the departure of singer Alice Glass… A lot of my friends were worried that this could mean the end of the band.

My cynical response was that Crystal Castles is Ethan (Khan). A little unfair but quite much true.. As Liam Howlett has always been the core of The Prodigy’s music, Ethan is the orchestrator behind the Crystal Castles‘ world.

Edith Frances is the new face of the duo and she rises quite much to the occasion. I did miss Alice in a couple of songs on this album but in the end of the day it has got stuck in my ears just like any other Crystal Castles’ record.

Femen is the first track on the album, not so much a track, but serving more as an introduction making a reference to the feminine side of CC that got impacted. And you do need an introduction when no.2 is ‘Fleece‘, an arena anthem (they are playing arenas now..). Track 3 is one of my favourites.. ‘CHAR‘ is melodic and otherworldly. Following ‘Enth‘ brought me back 25 years when I was escaping my parents’ house to go to a rave party.. Chainsaw mode. ‘Sadist‘ is a nice to compare former and current frontwoman.. Typical CC noisy track with passionate vocals. ‘Teach Her How To Hunt‘ is just transitional noise that gets you to ‘Chloroform and the girl does know how to hunt.. This song is like chewing gum in my mind.. Epic. ‘Frail‘ comes as another arena anthem, and it will serve very well in summertime festivals, as will following ‘Concrete. ‘Ornament‘ is a mid-tempo chill-out track, not much though. Last track ‘Their Kindness Is Charade‘ is the kind of song that appeared in the previous albums in the form of ‘Tell Me What To Swallow‘ or ‘Child I Will Hurt You‘, but with more of a beat to it..

I did enjoy this record as I think every Crystal Castles’ fan should do. I missed a little of Alice’s sentiment but the 2010’s version of 1990’s rave that Ethan does will always keep me interested.

Dimitris Mavraidis