Crystal Castles - Amnesty (I) (2016)
Following the leave of Alice Glass, Crystal Castles have moved away quite a bit from their atmospheric electronic, Amnesty (I) presenting a more straight forward, industrial duo of Ethan Kath and Edith Frances. It’s not farfetched to say that CC have stripped away the atmospherics to have a harder hitting and more divisive sound, ‘Fleece’ taking massive cues from Pretty Hate Machine-era NIN synths; the intensity from previous CC records is still there, it’s just more direct and even subtly EDM now - for better or worse. That being said, this is still very clearly CC, whether it’s the insane, 'Doe Deer’-esque intro to 'Fleece’, or the airy 'Chloroform’; it’s just that there’s now trap percussion on 'Femen’ and the electronics are very 80s without coming across dated. Frances has stepped up to the challenge of a crowd of people mindlessly stating “Alice is half of CC”, filling the position with ease all the while making it her own, 'Sadist’ going as far as showing Glass and Frances’ different approaches - the former reacting with a wail where as the latter juxtaposes with delicateness. For CC, this won’t be looked at as better or worse, but as a turning point, and hopefully a positive one at that.