Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Album Review: Sleigh Bells - Treats


From the get-go, Sleigh Bells' new album is an assault. A very, very fun assault. Combining crunchy guitar lines that could scrape the rust off of junked cars, bombastically overblown beats n' synths, and summery girl vocals, it is easy to see where M.I.A. drew the inspiration for her new song. Though not quite as punky (or NSFW) as their label-creator's new material, the group comprised of a Bronx schoolteacher and an ex-Poison the Well guitarist shows their uncanny ability to create a wild, energetic soundtrack to summer 2010. The previously leaked tracks (Crown on the Ground, Ring Ring, Beach Girls) are here, though two have been reworked and retitled-- I am happy to note, though, that "Ring Ring" (now "Rill Rill") has held onto its sample of Funkadelic's "Can You Get to That,"a nice mellow touch to album that is mostly devoid of anything that could be construed as remotely chill. Alexis Krauss, the female half of the band, does a good job of avoiding direct impersonations of M.I.A., save for introductory chant of "A/B Machines;" one still cannot help envisioning this album also existing in an alternate reality where Maya Arulpragasm grew up in Brooklyn listening to girl-group pop and instead of meeting Diplo, joined forces with the lovechild of Slash and Timbaland. What this album lacks in depth and clarity, it makes up for in sheer noise and fun. I mentioned before that this would be a great summer soundtrack, but I think it would be better served for the nights you spend at pyromaniacal beach bonfires. So grab some scrap wood, a deserted beach and some homies: let the good times commence.

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