Sleigh Bells
Texis


4.5
superb

Review

by Sowing STAFF
September 10th, 2021 | 97 replies


Release Date: 09/10/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Aren't you a little too old for rock and roll?

When Sleigh Bells entered the scene in 2010 with their debut LP Treats, it seemed as if nobody else was doing what they were. Their novel blend of aggressive synth-rock and sugary pop hooks was as dizzying as it was euphoric – a mad scientist’s concoction of clashing musical concepts that shouldn’t have worked yet somehow did. The result was one of the most experimental and simultaneously enjoyable releases of its time, even if it was far from perfect. Since then, vocalist Alexis Krauss and guitarist Derek Edward Miller have careened between further refinement of that initial flash bang of success (Reign of Terror) and more expansive pop influences (Jessica Rabbit). While they’ve remained interesting and relevant, they’ve never quite recaptured that earliest spark – that is, until now.

‘SWEET75’ draws you in immediately with its video game styled synths, boisterous tempo, and memorable verses (Krauss prods us with the question “aren't you a little too old for rock and roll?”; the answer clearly is no), and from there Texis never really takes its foot off the gas. Sleigh Bells’ fifth LP is arguably their most uptempo creation to date, which we witness as ‘An Acre Lost’ serves up a steady dose of frenetic guitars and stuttering synths before giving way to ‘I’m Not Down’, which is something of a rock ‘n’ roll incarnation of Chvrches. Anyone following the band is already familiar with Texis’ lead single ‘Locust Laced’, which other than being absurdly catchy feels as energized as a barrel of dynamite, and comes replete with a chorus that sounds like a demented cheerleader chant. This sort of full throttle indie noise-rock is what swirls within Texis’ chaotic, danceable, and anxiety-ridden walls, and the juxtaposition of emotions – mostly sarcastic elation masking complete and utter despair – makes the LP feel like a dance party for the end of the world. Who knows, maybe it is.

The record continues to rip through messy emotions and thrilling momentum swings as it marches onward. ‘Knowing’ plunges headfirst into a sea of club/dancefloor synths while also offering one of Sleigh Bells’ stickiest choruses before ‘Justine Go Genesis’ and ‘Tennessee Tips’ swing the pendulum back to the band’s trademark offering – a precarious balance between razor sharp electronic-rock and straight-up pop. As Sleigh Bells have always done throughout their career, though, they walk that tightrope with precision. ‘Rosary’ and ‘True Seekers’ are both slower tracks comparatively speaking, but they also feature these huge, burgeoning melodies that truly shine across Texis’ back end. ‘Red Flag Flies’ and closer ‘Hummingbird Bomb’ are a bit more clamorous, but they’re still eclectic enough to make their own distinguishable footprints (i.e. the xylophone-esque percussion on the latter). That’s really the story of Texis, an album so consistently raucous and uptempo that it should get stale, but simply doesn’t through sheer creative imposition.

Simply put, Texis is the life of the party. It’s overflowing with bona fide bangers, drawing from a seemingly endless well of synth blasts, gushing electric guitars, and Alexis Krauss’ airy, dynamic vocals. The melodies are outrageously infectious too, providing an immense dopamine rush that is impossible to resist. Detractors can write that Texis isn’t technically anything new, and while that may indeed be the case, Sleigh Bells have not sounded this rejuvenated or fun since they first appeared on the scene over a decade ago. Their core spirit and whatever magic it contained is back in full force, and it’s arguably more potent than ever.



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user ratings (50)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
gryndstone
September 10th 2021


2129 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review! I might need to give this a couple more spins to see if I come around on it, but right now it just feels like a step back from Jessica Rabbit. It's still good though! Locust Laced and Tennessee Tips go crazy

Odal
September 10th 2021


629 Comments


stoked to listen to this. The singles ruled

SteakByrnes
September 10th 2021


24698 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is very rad. I need to go back through and jam the rest of the discog, only ever jammed Treats a long time ago and barely remember it

rabidfish
September 10th 2021


6830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hey i enjoyed this, but i dunno. It didn't quite click for me yet. will revisit soon.

Digging: The Skatalites - From Paris With Love

Storm In A Teacup
September 10th 2021


34327 Comments


First album is a strong 4 or 4.5 and then they fell off hard for me. If this really is a comeback album then I will fall in love with it.

WatchItExplode
September 10th 2021


9244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

bout half bangers



Been a while since I thought about Sleigh Bells. This is pretty good.

Nikkolae
September 10th 2021


5946 Comments


this band gave me subwoofer PTSD all through my early 20's

Digging: Mol - JORD

Parallels
September 10th 2021


9507 Comments


subwoofer ptsd

Digging: Lush - Gala

Maverick821
September 11th 2021


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

incredibly fun album

Digging: Sleigh Bells - Texis

Storm In A Teacup
September 11th 2021


34327 Comments


Subwoofer ptsd sounds like a must experience. Never played this band on my home subs, bout anytime I play anything on the big watts the neighborhood complains. I will give their old stuff and this a chance on them

Storm In A Teacup
September 11th 2021


34327 Comments


Only subwoofer ptsd I ever had was sublime to be drunkenly honest, only because officials knocked on the door and said I was okay and they didn’t want to bother me but the bass was too loud, I was invited to turn the overall volume up if I turned down the bass 🤔🥰

DoofDoof
September 11th 2021


10343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Justine Go Genesis brings that Treats hotness



This is close to another 4.5 rating…last two weeks I’ve already awarded three 2021 albums a 4.5+, suddenly this year can’t miss



EDIT: Fuck it it’s a 4.5

DoofDoof
September 11th 2021


10343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Will say when the guitars leave this can sound a bit Lady Gaga or whatever - then I check RYM track ratings and they’re the higher rated tracks…so I guess the variety is a good idea for the band as some people like the non noisy pop tunes.



Only songs I don’t really love here are Locust Laced (I know they’re subverting the cheerleader type chorus like times before…but it is just a tiny bit too grating) , Rosary (still pretty good) and True Seekers (which to me sounds ‘this could be anyone’ generic) - none are actively bad but those three songs are a little less special

Sowing
Moderator
September 11th 2021


39049 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Knowing is my favorite off this so far. There's just something about it.

Digging: Other Lives - For Their Love

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
September 11th 2021


40821 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

is this good noise pop or lame post-crystal castles noise pop guess we're gonna see !

Digging: Trophy Scars - Astral Pariah

Sowing
Moderator
September 11th 2021


39049 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Have you never listened to Sleigh Bells before Johnny? Honestly no idea what you'll think of this. I could see you liking it or hating it with about equal probability, ha.

DoofDoof
September 11th 2021


10343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I could see someone saddling this with Johnny’s latter description ha

Pikazilla
September 11th 2021


18811 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is great



Although looking at those averages, ig I shouldn't bother with the rest of the discog

DoofDoof
September 11th 2021


10343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pika - Treats is still better than this but the rest misses the ‘magic touch’

gryndstone
September 11th 2021


2129 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Treats is a must listen. Beyond that it's all give or take but i think Jessica Rabbit's amazing and epic and swaggy



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