Crystal Castles: O2 Academy, Leeds, 27/11/12

It is Tuesday evening and the 02 Academy in Leeds is filling up. Japanese psychedelic rock band Bo Ningen and Muse inspired trio LULS (says it all, I know) do their best to keep us entertained during a long wait before the headline act, Canadian experimental electronic band Crystal Castles, enter the stage. When they finally do, they start off with one of the tracks from their latest album, “Plague”, which throws us right into what Crystal Castles is all about: their drown-wave and icicle-core stylings that keep drawing you in.

Perhaps the dynamism between the two of them and the fact that they let each other do their own thing make it all come together. Alice Glass, with her doll like appearance and ever changing hair colour, moved in a trance like state. Never running out of energy, sbe tantalises the fans near the stage, however, it nearly turns violent as people keep holding onto and grabbing her legs. Ethan Kath just simply stands there, minding his own business. Together they are like a brother and sister duo from a children’s fairytale, knowing their place and creating some asphyxiating music, not too different from the sound of a Gameboy with a slight glitch. As they go on to the all-conquering “Not in Love”, I cannot say I miss the vocals of The Cure’s Robert Smith, even though the two seemed inseparable on the original. The light show complements the music perfectly, creating a hallucinatory atmosphere,  although I wonder what it would have been like without all these accessories.

Kristina Astrom