Review Summary: Keep thinking about every straight face, yes,
Wonder what your boyfriend thinks about your bracesSleigh Bells – Treats
Review by Marzuki
There’s music that you have to be in the mood for, and music that doesn’t work like that. Personally, the beloved Kid A
falls into the former category, and anything from Sufjan Steven’s folk outings goes under the latter.
is one of the former. It’s a [choice intensifier] LOUD record, and I’ve listened to a few loud records. It’s pop, but it’s also noise pop, and these are not one and the same thing. If you feel like loud, then let Sleigh Bells pummel your ears, but if you don’t then this will not be enjoyable.
Still here? Good, because Treats
is a pretty fantastic debut. From the first track ‘Tell ‘Em’: a strangely catchy mixture of vocalist Krauss’ sugary voice and Miller’s guitar and bass efforts, you know that the oncoming assault is going to be harsh. (I may sound like I’m exaggerating, but I listened to Treats
with earphones. Yeah.)
And so the album spins out – eleven pop songs, smothered in noise which comes off not as a gimmick but an integral part of the music. A personal highlight is the second track, ‘Kids’. This is an untidy mess, with some really trashy lyrics quasi-rapped over a chaotic hip hop beat. But, and I fully understand if anyone disagrees, I love it. It works. And it’s catchy.
While the first four tracks do roughly the same things, with ‘Run the Heart’ Sleigh Bells break loose a bit from this formula, with a charming little piece of electronica. ‘Rachel’ continues in the same vein, as Krauss’ breathing morphs into a glitchy beat. ‘Rill Rill’, with guitar reminiscent of country and some rather dark lyrics, is an absolute stand out and was rightly released as a single. Likewise, the danceable ‘Crown on the Ground’. After two more songs, the title track tops it off with some slow, pounding rock.
I’m not M.I.A.’s biggest fan, but she knew what she was doing when she picked up Sleigh Bells for her label. Their second LP, Reign of Terror
, has not generated as much interest as its predecessor, and I hope these guys don’t slowly fade away (like the remnants of my hearing).