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Crystal Castles have an established reputation for their live show, and the unanimous verdict seems to be best expressed by the profuse use of endless exclamation marks. The duo, known for nostalgic reference points like He-Man and the Atari, decided to ditch the technology they’re most associated with and record their latest offering, (III), straight to tape, stripping out a lot of excess and leaving the album open for a more minimalistic focus. Kinda against the grain for an electronic band, right? But critical elite have described the resulting tracks as aggressive, tense and pounding, bringing us closer than ever to the dance-y darkness the band casts. Good thing Crystal Castles are famous for their light show, a contrasting force inspiring equal frenzy in showgoers who are brave enough to try to keep up with vocalist Alice Glass, who our favorite live show critic Bao Le-Huu described as “intensely physical.” – Ashley Belanger
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