Zachary Cole Smith has overcome a multitude of problems to make this intensely powerful album
10 Tracks You Have To Hear This Week (04/08/12)
Crystal Castles, Palma Violets, Factory Floor
Crystal Castles - 'Plague'
“There’s no departure. We like how we sound. We don’t wanna change.” So said Crystal Castles’ Ethan Kath in NME two weeks ago, about his as-yet-untitled new album – and typically, he didn’t really say much else. ‘Plague’ is the first song to be released from said album. And for once the words coming from beneath the tattered hood of the mumbliest moaner in music can be taken at face value. It’s a brilliantly horrible and very Crystal Castles name for a song, and sonically, it totally fits the 4am warehouse-rave-on-the-moon feeling that made moments like ‘Celestica’ on that incredible last album untouchable. Then there’s the ominous thump and nasty bass, plus eerie silences that act like post-apocalyptic drops. ’Course, we still can’t make out a single word of what Alice Glass is screeching on about, but it doesn’t matter. All in all, ‘Plague’’s unheralded arrival from the pits of Ethan and Alice’s Warsaw studio suddenly makes the prospect of their new album the most exciting feeling of the week. Because Crystal Castles haven’t changed. There is no departure. And they still sound dangerous, demented and utterly thrilling.
Palma Violets - 'Tom The Drum'
Previously too cool for YouTube, Palma Violets have finally put a song online. Recorded live at the band’s south London hub, it’s rough, tough and rocks like a bastard. “Oh, I want to be alone” snarls frontman Sam Fryer at the start, which is perverse, because tunes like this will soon make his wish impossible.
Rustie feat. Aluna Francis - 'After Light'
A let’s-go-mental standout from the Scottish producer and DJ’s album ‘Glass Swords’ is given an R&B refit by Aluna Francis of Aluna George. “Higher, higher”, she trills, somehow not getting buried in its awesome power. Who knew maximalism could work on a dark dancefloor AND on the radio?
Teengirl Fantasy - 'EFX'
Teengirl Fantasy have made UK clubs sweat hard over the last few weeks and new record highlight ‘EFX’ is a great explanation why. A ravey take on a slow jam, the hook from fresh new talent Kelela asks you to “throw your hands up in the sky” and it’s hella hard not to oblige.
Factory Floor - 'Live In The Boiler Room'
Oh be still, my beating heart: 50-odd minutes of Factory Floor peddling their stern, unholy racket in the Boiler Room? A near hour-long set of neuron-razing, earlobe-eviscerating, stomach-dropping electronic nastiness? AND they’ve finally inked a record deal with DFA, and will be dropping their full-length debut next year? A-fucking-men.
Holy Esque - 'Tear'
On which the man with the unholiest shriek in rock - that’s Holy Esque singer Pat Hynes - sounds both shit-scared and shit-scary. The Glaswegians’ follow-up to their rapturously received four-track EP is their finest moment yet, full of the kind of buzzsaw theatrics that make the likes of Glasvegas and Wu Lyf stand out.
SBTRKT - 'Gloss'
SBTRKT’s latest Soundcloud freebie isn’t a banger. And it’s not one of the Sampha-style slow jams that we loved on his debut LP either. It gently fizzes, like a Berocca. Just right for slightly tender Sunday heads, lazing in the sun after the big night before.
Tame Impala - 'Elephant'
Tame Impala prove their next album’s set to be just as brain-frazzling as their debut with this Marc Bolan-indebted psych killer stomp, complete with sparks of retro synths and one brief – but absolutely fucking bonkers – drum solo. Roll on October…
Dirty Projectors - 'Buckle Up'
The tour-only seven inch track treads between the requisite ‘zany’ Brooklynite awkwardness and pure melodic thrill with some aplomb. Scrappy as it tries its best to sound, this ode to the confusing, panicky thrill of new love certainly gets in your head straight away, and is possibly too good for this to be the last we hear of it.
Dizzee Rascal feat. Pepper - 'Scream'
Yeah: RUNNING! Yeah: JUMPING! Yeah: THROWING! Yeah: CYCLING! This is Dizzee’s Olympics song, which talks about “gold” and being a “champion” and stuff. It’s rubbish, like all the Olympics songs. But it doesn’t matter because: SPPPOOOOOOORTT!!!!!!
This article originally appeared in the August 4th issue of NME
Subscribe here and get NME for £1 a week, or get this week's digital issue
The film adaptation of R.L. Stine's classic horror novels is shockingly enjoyable
A defiantly bangerless take-me-seriously-as-an-artist album that reveals new charms every time you spin it
The utterly gripping story of how The Boston Globe exposed child abuse within the Catholic church
Hitmaker-for-hire makes a silk purse out of songs rejected by Rihanna, Adele and others