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One up, warp zone, fireballs… oh this isn’t Super Mario Bros? Oh yeah its a review of Crystal Castles.

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Toronto duo Ethin and Alice took the stage promptly at 20:45 [huh? -ed.] for their much anticipated DC debut at 9:30 club last night. Owing much of their success to myspace and other music sharing blogs, they have been one of the most hyped groups of the past year (I know few of you actually own their sold out 7 inch vinyl, so its clear the interweb is where we get our info). Their remixes are everywhere and they have infiltrated the ranks of all hipper than hip bands – the Klaxons, the Teenagers and Bloc Party – and collaborated with french mega gods Kitsune. Although the band claims to have formed accidentally, their stage performance was not one of unskilled newbies. Alice has a young impish appearance akin to an elf like creature. She flails and she screams and she ties the microphone cord around her neck. She was fun to watch and reminded me almost of Iggy Pop. If you go to their Myspace it says one of their influences is “blank looks on girls”, well I think she has perfected that look. Ok maybe not a blank look exactly. Despite the rest of her surging with energy her face remained static, on the crowd, focused. Their raw energy came through. The lighting was minimal and only Alice moved around, sometimes holding the lights. Ethin was in the background playing the glitchy electro noise they are known for.

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The only thing that saddened me was the vocals being way louder than the music causing some distortion, but yeah, the played Alice Practice and Air Wars, so we were all pretty satisfied. Also, they look exactly like any photo you have ever seen of them, they even wear the same clothes.

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Metric was definitely a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t so familiar with them to be honest. I had heard a few songs prior but didn’t really pay much attention or just forgot somehow. Stupid mistake!! They were beautiful and impressive! Another Toronto based import, Metric have been around for several years now and released three albums. Known for their new wavish pop rock and smarter-than-you lyrics, the band members are involved in all sorts of side projects like Broken Social Scene and collaborations with Stars and others. Lead singer, Emily Haines looks and sounds like an angel. If there was ever a show with two completely opposite lead singers this was it. Where Alice was a cute elfish tomboy, Emily was a delicate fairy princess wearing a shiny dress. Her wispy blonde hair mesmerised me into mush. Not to mention that her voice is soft, serene and feminine. But don’t get me wrong, they were just as energetic but in a completely different way.

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Their sound is fresh and slightly ethereal… it feels… light. You know, they remind me of Mew a bit. Emily’s voice has the same sort of childlike wonder that lead singer Jonas Bjerre has. Trust me, its pretty!! Not to mention their synth/piano loops gave the songs the extra oomph to go from indie rock to new wavey danceble fun.

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Metric got us moving about as well with dance-y hits like Dead Disco. And Now I will go download a whole bunch of their stuff…

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Overall, it was a pleasant and music filled way to spend a Thursday evening . Canada is churning out some great music at a fast pace and I am excited to see whats coming up next.”

 I couldn’t bring a camera because it got busted up in a throw down a few months ago, sad.

No prob Chrissy-poo, we got Bao to fill in for you! More of his amazing work here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/baonguyen/
-cale

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