KSUA 91.5 Notes: (III), Young Hunger, and Ultraista reviewed
Brady Gross/Sun Star Columnist
November 13, 2012
Artist: Crystal Castles
Crystal Castles has found a success even though they have a tendency to be distant and emotive towards how they market themselves to their fan base. The dance-electronic-goth music that is curated by Alice Glass and Co. is especially intriguing. This is not only their third release, (III, duh) but also comes out in the wake of Sleigh Bells’ success since Crystal Castles put out their last record. Sleigh Bells essentially took Alice Glass’ abrasive bad-ass’ery and made it accessible. Both bands have their individual draws on the same melodic spectrum that is radically intense from the get-go. Castles, is harder hitting, more abstract, and just straight up havoc. On (III), the glitchy screams, and pressuring heart-racing beats will keep Castles out of the mainstream, but fans and Alice alike probably think that’s best.
Essential Tracks: “Kerosene,” “Affection,” and “Transgender”
Artist: Chad Valley
Album: Young Hunger
What a crazy idea! People actually loved the 80’s and the pop sensationalism that came from it. Chad Valley embraces the urban birth of snyths and cheesy saxophones. Valley utilizes emotive falsettos and wine-drunk breezy soundscapes. So get on your speedos and go hungry like a wolf already. These are dismal times, so stop giving a crap and let’s embrace these 80’s revival cuts like it’s MTV Spring Break in Cancun. With enough extra featured indie artists to script a modern day ‘Wonder Years’, this is retro pop that everyone could really love to hate, but it is really wonderful.
Essential Tracks: “Tell All Your Friends,” “Feel 4 You,” and “Fathering/Mothering”
Nigel Godrich has been a long time collaborator with Radiohead. Godrich’s influence shines through here with consistent kick drum monotony and back beat pummels akin to the work he’s done in the past. Nigel only being half the setup here, we also see Laura Bettinson take vocal duties. Pretty, distinct, and consistent, Bettinson’s voice is a fair welcome. There are a few gems here that resonate more than the rest, especially the closing track “You’re Out.” While Ultraista’s debut isn’t necessarily a bad record by any means, it’s just that the whole project feels like an exercise for Godrich. We see a showcase of electronic krautrock expertise and while Nigel doesn’t bring anything revolutionary to the genre, he is just reaffirming his impact overall.
Essential Tracks: “Bad Insect,” “Party Line,” and “You’re Out”