CRYSTAL CASTLES- Crystal Castles

Crystal Castles are 100% bona fide Hot Shit right now. Not only have the Canadian boy-girl duo got online tastemakers and the indie world in a tizzy, they’ve also built up a loud enough buzz for the broadsheets, tabloids, and TV to tip them for the top in 2008 too. And hell, who are we to rock the boat. Debut ‘Crystal Castles’ is a glistening slab of techno-electro-core that glides, soars, crunches, punches, stabs and screams in equal measure. Like everyone’s been saying, it’s great.

Opener ‘Untrust Us’ is a hypnotic squish of gameboy bleeps, bass beats and alien vocals, ‘1991’ is a dreamy skit on nu-rave and if ‘Alice Practice’ shows what these two are capable of without even trying, their synthed-up cover of HEALTH’s ‘Crimewave’ illustrates the singular, spacey heights they can reach when they force all four feet down on the accelerator. Deeper in and ‘Love And Caring’ is a glam-rock pulse-rifle on overload, ‘Courtship Dating’ is so good that Timbaland stole it and sold it to 50 Cent (karma perhaps?), and ‘Black Panther’ is solid gold electro-pop- bound to make your mouth water whether you party hard, dance late, or stay home in front of a stereo. Seriously, this is much more than hip hoodies and trendy jeans. Believe the hype.

FUCK BUTTONS- Street Horrrsing

Pop-punk, chart rock and indie schmindie fans turn and run now. London’s Fuck Buttons- Andrew Hung and Ben Power if you were introducing them to your mother- are here to mess with your head. In fact, when the boys came together at the tail end of 04, they wanted to blow your brains clean out- the duo’s mission statement simply reading ‘make as much noise as possible’- but now the manifesto has changed. And ‘Street Horrrsing’, the band’s debut album, doesn’t just push up the decibels; this thing pushes limits everywhere.

For starters the ‘Buttons don’t rely on any formula or fashion. Instead they mulch up all manner of sounds, styles, elements and even entire genres to spit them out as waves of sound and walls of noise. Just check opener ‘Sweet Love For Planet Earth’, a near ten-minute electronic epic that feigns twinkling tenderness before a single slowly-distorting riff and indecipherable feral vocals turn it into something much darker and more destructive, or closer ‘Colours Move’- oddly alien but raw and muddy and sounding like the perfect thing for David Lynch’s next end credits too.

Hell, this could all be film soundtrack stuff. Sure, where ‘Sweet Love…’ could soar over some ambitious drama or epic battle scene, ‘Bright Tomorrow’ sounds like something from the outback sections of Crocodile Dundee, but there’s a hyper-intense and addictive raw power to every drum thud, feedback roar and unfamiliar noise. By virtue of that name the duo are never going to be as big as other similarly experimental acts, but ‘Street Horrrsing’ remains a galloping beginning and more than proves the Buttons, given some careful editing, could be capable of future world-shaking brilliance.