Album Review: Alice Glass - 'PREY//IV'

18 February 2022 | 8:49 am | Guido Farnell

An incredibly powerful and focused record.

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Electro punk maestro Alice Glass emerges after what feels like the longest time to deliver her debut solo album. 

It's a record wrought from bitter experience as Glass reflects on the abusive relationship with Ethan Kath she claims started when she was just 15 years old. Glass was always nothing short of electrifying the few times we saw Crystal Castles play shows around town. It was almost impossible to comprehend what must have been happening behind the scenes when Glass came forward with stomach-churning claims of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. 

Glass is still healing and PREY//IV is part of that process. It's an album of fractured pop that often slips into driving, industrial-strength techno and gothic horror. Jupiter Keyes, who was once part of noise merchants Health, produced this album. His ferocious electronic arrangements which edge towards the brutal almost perfectly compliment Glass’ intensity as she deals an album where every tune sinks deep into exploration of the trauma she has experienced.

The album seemingly follows the arc of her abusive relationship. In Pinned Beneath Limbs, she sings, “Don’t talk to your friends / Don’t talk to your family / Don’t tell anyone / You’re not worth believing.” Sounding completely enraged on Fair Game, Glass delivers lyrics about psychological manipulation as she regains her power over simple put-downs that would undermine anyone’s confidence. 

PREY//IV feels like a ritual exorcism of the past and all the demons that have haunted Glass. Sounding angelic she wistfully delivers I Trusted You. It’s a backwards-looking parting glance ahead of the reflective instrumental Sorrow Ends. There is power in the way Glass owns her pain and deals with it across this incredibly powerful and focused record.

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