Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Album Review - Sleigh Bells - Treats

This review is part of the "Over Flow" Review Series. For various reasons these past reviews were not published anywhere else. I am tagging them as "Overflow Reviews" and may add some extra information before or after if needed but will keep the ratings and reviews just as I originally wrote them. Enjoy:
 Sleigh Bells
** out of *****

Derek E. Miller creates the music and Alexis Krauss provides the vocals for Sleigh Bells, who recently released their debut album Treats.  The Brooklyn based duo has created a stuttering industrial/dance-pop noise record that can overload or become eerily barren depending on the track.

Digital claps and electronic farts partner with noise blasts (replacing bass and drums) while walloping guitar riffs are plopped on top like whipped cream.   The multi-tracked wispy vocals add a nice off setting texture to the clanging chaos but no lyrical depth.  On it’s best track, “Infinity Guitars”, the sparse jingle worms its way into your brain and hips with its minimalist catchiness; hipsters will surely dance to this all summer.  “Rill Rill” keeps adding textures upon its sugary sweet vocals while on the flipside “Crown on the Ground” grates the eardrums with robotic/soulless hip-hop in one trick pony fashion. 

Treats provides intriguing moments but quickly begins to feel repetitive.  This formula simply lends itself to one catchy hook or tune rather then a full length release. The distortion will bombard your speakers but the fuzz may dull your brain rather then inspire your legs to get out on the dance floor.

For more thoughts, videos and tunes read some more...

This album is interesting and a unique listen so in that sense it is worth checking out,it was just the more time I spent with it the more it sounded the same and not in the best of ways.

Sleigh Bells try to mix noise and hip-hop (I am guessing) on Treats, and it works to an extent but stretching the formula out over 11 tracks makes the disk feel longer then it is...a lot longer.  When they mix up the Blast-Stop-Blast-Echo Lyric pattern, even slightly I tend to like the tracks better which you can see on "Infinity Guitars" and "Rill Rill".  When the all out assault continues it just dulls the senses after the first go around of the disk opener "Tell'Em". 

I think there are some fine singles here, but no real feel of an album, who knows maybe at the end of the year I will like it more, all I know at this point is I am in ZERO rush to see them live (No Bass and Drums have a lot to do with this). 

Here are some of the tracks I like best, feel free to check them out for yourself:
"Infinity Guitars"

"Rill Rill"


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