12 March 2009

Clipping: YLHCSD is not Crystal Castles

Sometimes it takes a single artist to pique the attention of music fans around the world before a flood of similar acts get noticed. Justice’s remix of a Simian Mobile Disco song, "We Are Your Friends," had to become an Internet hit and dance floor staple before most fans learned of other electro artists like Boys Noize, Calvin Harris or even Simian Mobile Disco themselves. In a similar way, Crystal Castles’ dynamic rise has opened the door for many other similar artists, such as Great Britain’s You Love Her Coz She’s Dead.

YLHCSD are similar to Crystal Castles in more ways than one. Both bands produce dance music influenced by chiptune, a genre of electronic music that samples sounds from classic video game consoles and makes use of 8-bit melodies. Both bands are composed of a hyperactive female vocalist/frontwoman and a multi-instrumental, leather-jacket-donning male. Both make use of vocoders, bass guitars and drums. Both put on extremely energetic, borderline chaotic live shows. Both also have a penchant for remixes, taking on a wide variety of artists that include Britney Spears, Foals and Uffie.

But that’s not to say that they are exactly the same. As opposed to Crystal Castles’ dark, "thrash" style, YLHCSD are more upbeat and influenced by late ’90s trance music. The four songs off YLHCSD’s recent EP, Inner City Angst, have soaring synthesizer harmonies and feature a few stereotypical sound effects. There are also traces of punk caught in the rapid bass guitar riffs and desperate male vocals, a feature that separates YLHCSD from Crystal Castles.

Chances are that most listeners will have first heard Crystal Castles due to their prominence and popularity, and thus assume that YLHCSD are simply following a successful, established formula. But both bands formed around the same time, producing similar music completely independent of one another. Nevertheless, YLHCSD have definitely heard the comparisons. If their new EP is any indication, they don’t plan on standing in Crystal Castles’ shadow for much longer.

- printed in the March 9th edition of The Ticker

You Love Her Coz She's Dead - Inner City Angst (EP minimix)
You Love Her Coz She's Dead - Superheroes
AutoKratz - Stay the Same (You Love Her Coz She's Dead remix)
Britney Spears - Womanizer (You Love Her Coz She's Dead remix)


  1. Do you remember Aqua? The Danish-Norwegian dance-pop group, perhaps best known for their 1997 breakthrough single Barbie Girl in the year 1997!?

    YLHCSD is really them turned electro circa 2007.

    & Superheroes first 15 seconds sounds like the shittier intro version of Crystal Castle's Xxzxcuzx Me.

  2. http://www.nme.com/news/crystal-castles/37456

    Well apparently Crystal Castle's "Xxzxcuzx Me" was jacked from someone else, so it's hard to see where that "sounds like" line ends.