Sleigh Bells - Treats
Label: Mom + Pop – MP016-1
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Repress, Gatefold, 180G
Contains a composition notebook filled with "Treats" and an MP3 download card
Genre: Electronic, Pop, Rock
Style: Electro, Noise, Indie Rock
A1 Tell Em 2:56
Tenor Saxophone – Adam Schatz
Trombone – Curtis Hasslebring
Trumpet – Eric Biondio, Jacob Wick
Vocals – Ana Alvarez, Demi Colon, Isamar Leonardo 2:46
A3 Riot Rhythm 2:37
A4 Infinity Guitars 2:32
A5 Run The Heart 2:41
A6 Rachel 2:19
B1 Rill Rill 3:50
B2 Crown On The Ground 3:49
B3 Straight A's 1:32
B4 AB Machines 3:35
B5 Treats 3:29
Recorded At – Treefort Recordings
Mixed At – SMT Studios
Mastered At – The Lodge
Artwork – Alexis Krauss, Derek Miller, Eugene Riecansky, Will Hubbard
Creative Director – Derek Miller
Design – Rockstar
Engineer – Shane P. Stoneback
Engineer [Assistant] – Ever Ronquillo
Executive Producer – Will Hubbard
Instruments – Derek Miller
Layout – Rockstar
Mastered By – Emily Lazar, Joe Laporta
Performer [Sleigh Bells] – Alexis Krauss, Derek Miller
Producer – Derek Miller
This one is going to split the jury. Sleigh Bells are not a Christmas novelty act (some will disagree) but another band from the People's Independent Noise Republic of Brooklyn and an immense grungy dance punk juggernaut consisting of Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller a former hardcore rock guitarist. For influences think Bow Wow Wow, crossed with Lil Wayne and then throw in the Beastie Boys, White Stripes and Le Tigre.
As for the music Sleigh Bells elephantine beats don't just hammer the damn things could pile drive concrete supports into the foundations for skyscrapers. Their primitive guitar fuzz is wickedly distorted and married to the simplest of pop melodies. Krauss's ever so sweet voice provides tranquillity amongst this cacophony. Thereby this irresistible mix combines with room-shaking production and big guitars and is the reason why so many people are salivating over this album on the blogosphere.
When I first played the opener "Tell em" on my car stereo it was so bloody loud I swerved to miss a passing cyclist. It is a full blown aural assault, the musical equivalent of a punch in the face and one of the quieter songs on the album. It may just be 2010's musical counterpart to last years "My Girls" by Animal Collective. In terms of what follows there is no let up or escape. "Riot Rhythm" has drums which pound and Millers guitar introduces a razor like cutting riff.
"Infinity guitars" sounds like a cross between the Beastie boys and Japandroids. "Run the heart" is Abba for the Twitter generation. It is a staccato composition punctuated by bubbling noises, shimmering synths and the dreamlike vocal of Krauss. Then there is the Phil Spectorish "Rill Rill" formerly "Ring Ring" from their demo's which is a charming confection of a pop song that is a temporary if welcome relief from Miller frankly going mental. His return however comes back with all the force of a wayward Katyusha missile on "Crown on the Ground" which sounds like the treble button has broken and someone has sucked the bass out.
Your graphic equalizer is I am afraid onto a hiding to nothing but it works brilliantly and is actually quite sweet in comparison to the 90 second riff monster "Straight A's" that follows which could be Husker Du having a bad soundcheck. "A B Machines" is a surf guitar hip hop mash up (I kid you not) with Krauss repeating a two line lyric throughout. Finally the title track sounds like Mastadon making a bid for the charts with a girl singer.
Granted "Treats" is so bound for mainstream success and overexposure that you sense that a brief romance with this band may be the extent of your involvement, but so what it will be fun while it lasts. Thus we have an album that is very loud, trashy, and disposable and pulled off with the sort of brazen audacity that would find the state police visiting in the dark of night in a less tolerant society.
Sleigh Bells - Treats
Sleigh Bells - Kids, Riot Rhythm, Treats
(Live @ Pitchfork Music Festival on 7/18/10)
Sleigh Bells - Infinity Guitars
Live from Terminal 5, 2/17/12