My favorite words of advice from The Office's Michael Scott come from the infamous Booze Cruise episode, where he attempts to show off "the worm" dance move on the floor: "Sometimes you just have to be the boss of dancing." For once in his life, he is right: we all love to dance! Some of us show off our moves in front of the bathroom mirror; others strut their stuff on a crowded dance floor. Some of us walk like an Egyptian; others throw their hands in the air like they just don't care. And then there are those of us who dance to bands like Crystal Castles and Sleigh Bells....
Thanks to the internet, I can tell you that Crystal Castles is an "experimental electronic" band and Sleigh Bells fits into the "noise pop" genre. Whatever that means. If I had to describe both bands in my own words (don't be scared off quite yet!), I would say that Crystal Castles is a swirling bonfire fueled by a thousand Atari and Nintendo machines - Sleigh Bells is a love poem to the electric guitar, with churning chords and distortion so thick you can almost taste it. Both bands feature a female vocalist. Both bands fall into the "love 'em or hate 'em" category of music.
Crystal Castles is dance music for the video game/internet generation. In fact, their rise in popularity can be directly attributed to the internet itself: singer Alice Glass was asked by producer Ethan Kass to record vocals over a couple of his homemade tracks (he uses a keyboard with an Atari sound chip for many of his songs). After parting ways with Kass for many months, Glass had no idea that their creations had spread like electronic wildfire across message boards and fan sites. This led to a record deal, bookings in music festivals across the globe, and legions of fans anxious for more music. The library has multiple copies of the band's second album, the aptly named Crystal Castles II, which you can find in our catalog. I would begin listening to the more dance-oriented tracks like Baptism, Empathy, Not in Love, and Intimate; the video game bloops and bleeps provide an energetic canvas for Alice Glass' moaning whispers and cries of anger. A word of caution: unless you are comfortable with Crystal Castles' sound, stay away from the track Doe Deer, which sounds like the kids from William Golding's Lord of the Flies got a hold of Bambi's mother...unless that sound appealing to you!
Sleigh Bells is available for download through the Freegal Music Database, which you can access on the library's homepage, under the "Downloadable Media" tab. As of this week, the band has released their 2nd album, Reign of Terror, which is either very good or very bad news depending on whether you like the band. Unlike Crystal Castles, whose singer ranges from a whispering sprite to a shrieking banshee, Sleigh Bells is content to stick to one sound: full-force electric guitar siren. Try one of the band's many singles: Tell 'Em, Infinity Guitars, or Comeback Kid. If you like what you hear, the rest of the CDs are more of the same. If after ten seconds, your brain is pleading, "Make this horrible noise stop!" then close your browser and never think of them again.