Album Review | ELECTRO-PUNK

Crystal Castles, ‘(III)’

The new album from Canadian electro-punk duo Crystal Castles is the group’s least vicious so far. The record throbs on dark, wistful grooves and off-kilter synth screeches, but doesn’t quite go for the full-on assault that they’ve hit in the past. The result is another engaging, club-inspired nightmare. This one, though, doesn’t ever jolt you awake. Vocalist Alice Glass, once a shrieking provocateur, serves mostly as a guide here, her echoing coo drawing listeners deeper into the shadows on songs like “Violent Youth.” On the bite-size treat “Insulin,” Glass is at her most anxious, and Ethan Kath’s production, which oscillates in and out of audibility, is at its noisiest. But the noise all disappears when Crystal Castles decides to end the trip. They drop the drums and calm down on closer “Child I Will Hurt You,” a gleaming lullaby that has Glass hushing listeners into dreamlessness. (Out now)

Andrew Doerfler

ESSENTIAL “Violent Youth”

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