Crystal Castles, My Disco at The Palace
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Crystal Castles, My Disco at The Palace

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Their bio reads, “we are crystal castles, we are 1 boy and 1 girl, we are named after She-Ra’s home, we play rough”. Direct, intriguing and somewhat threatening. Would their performance be the same?

Their bio reads, "we are crystal castles, we are 1 boy and 1 girl, we are named after She-Ra’s home, we play rough". Direct, intriguing and somewhat threatening. Would their performance be the same?

 

Melbourne’s My Disco must be thinking that they’ve stumbled onto the set of Honey I Shrunk The Palace. They’ve been allocated two-tenths of the stage, literally on the precipice of the pit, it’s unsettling to see a band off centre even before they start, yet it doesn’t prevent them from launching straight into their own brand of hard-punk-dance. It begins in perfect unison, a steady swell of sound not enough to kill the discourteous conversations, but enough to drown them out. The sound they bring tonight is too repetitious and over-baring to find a place in my musical heart; brazen, metal guitar too incessant to translate as entertaining.

 

Inaudible, drawled vocals never seem to add value or distinction to the material either, it’s an instrument that Liam Andrews should use to add strength and substance to each track, instead it just barely breaks the monotony of their sound. It’s Rebeiro’s mid-set drum solo that entertains instead, often off-kilter and sometimes more carnivale than Karnivool.

 

There’s shrills, cheering, swaying and even a Bruce Reid run-up clap permeating from the dance floor in preparation for Crystal Castles, but a crew member appears to dampen spirits. "Alice has broken her ankle. Her doctor has told her not to play the show. Do you know what Alice said?" he asks the waiting crowd. "GO FUCK YOURSELF!" was the response and with that out steps Ethan Kath and out hobbles Alice Glass; crutches, moon boot and all. It’s on!

 

Hazardous synths electrify the audience who seem to release the pressure valve on the week’s toil at the sound of Alice Practice, Doe Deer and Vanished. Glass’ silhouette bounces and crouches, a crutch raised, her vocal a protest rant and indignant assault. Kath is the hooded-goul behind the turret of road cases raising spasmodic beats as fast as the pulses on the floor. As Crimewave bangs out, live drums and guitar go into full effect, it has a distinctive warp and is evidently substance friendly.

 

Crystal Castles have the ability to concoct a well-balanced set as contradictory as their name suggests. Vocals at times delicate and mesmerising, gutsy grooves of digital notes, keys and charming bells alongside a forceful banging brigade of penetrating beats. The crowning glory, the William Wallace moment, Not In Love. Never stagnant in sound, tempo or effects, stimulating lighting simply added to the sensory trance, a crowd in raptures, dance hall heaven. They are Crystal Castles, they do play rough..

 

 

 

JOHN DONALDSON