10 Albums Guaranteed to Make Your Ears Hurt

We’ve been listening a lot to the new Crystal Castles album III, which is out this week, here at Flavorpill, and while we’ve been enjoying it a lot more than we thought we would, we do rather miss the days when they sounded like someone taking a sledgehammer to a Commodore 64. Clearly, you have to be in the mood for such things, but when you are in the mood, there’s nothing more viscerally thrilling than some nasty, nasty noise music. We thought we’d share some of our favorite albums for inducing earaches. What are yours? (Incidentally, we mean albums that make your ears hurt in a good way — which means: sorry, Hadouken!/Enter Shikari/BrokenCYDE/etc, you don’t qualify.)

Atari Teenage Riot — The Future of War

The original electronic-based ear-melters, Atari Teenage Riot’s sound — which they dubbed “digital hardcore,” after the label of the same name founded by ATR main man Alec Empire in 1994 — laid the template for what Crystal Castles would do a decade later. This record was their loudest and also their most controversial, largely because its combination of leftist politics, headache-inducing instrumentation, and shouting — lots and lots of shouting — got it banned in the group’s native Germany. Unsurprisingly, ATR main man Alec Empire was not pleased.