Crystal Castles

Album: Crystal Castles

Label: Last Gang Records


Release Date: March 18

**** (out of five)

Appropriately named for She-Ra’s secret refuge, Crystal Castles is the cartoonish electro punk vision of Toronto’s Ethan Kath and Alice Glass.

This moody, hyper-stylized self-titled album sounds like a crowded rave held inside an Atari 2600. A never-ending onslaught of retro beeps and whistles, mixed with dirty dance beats and Glass’ brash, digitized vocals, creates an intoxicating effect.

This is exactly what science fiction assured us music would sound like in the future.

Danko Jones

Album: Never Too Loud

Label: Aquarius

Release Date: March 18

*** 1/2 (out of five)

Danko Jones showcases some well-schooled savviness here by running the gamut of hard rock styles without abandoning the band’s sinful swagger. Renowned producer Nick Raskulinecz helps the trio polish its metal, amp up its harmonies and even navigate into the road-weary singalong of Take Me Home. The straight-ahead drive of Never Too Loud may not create the indie-credible buzz from DJ’s early days — but there are still loads of power-crunching chords and plenty of infectious intensity left in the tank.

robb mckay/for metro toronto

Snoop Dogg

Album: Ego Trippin’

Label: Universal Music Group

Release Date: March 11

*** 1/2 (out of five)

The Doggfather is back with some extra silky beats and old-school R&B flavours for album No. 9. Snoop’s flow remains mostly classic gangsta, with some decent straight up singing attempts — like the airy love-jam Sexual Eruption (Sensual Seduction for the video). A good variety here with more than 21 tracks featuring splashes of ’80s synthesizers and vocoders alongside some West-coast bounce and even a country-styled Johnny Cash tribute. This trip may get too thin for hardcore hip-hop fans, but it’s got some great party jams and is still off the hizzle.


Album: Trouble In Dreams

Label: Merge

Release Date: March 18

*** (out of five)

Dan Bejar’s eighth release under the Destroyer moniker is replete with the conceptual poetic lyricism and theatrical indie rock he has come to be known for. The album starts strong with captivating songs such as Dark Leaves Form A Thread, but somewhere near the halfway point Trouble In Dreams begins to drift a tad toward fatigue.

Still, the lack of hooks doesn’t diminish what is on the whole another smart, charming effort.

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