Thursday, November 10, 2016

Album Review: Sleigh Bells- Jessica Rabbit

Sleigh Bells
Jessica Rabbit
** out of *****

Sleigh Bells make the perfect music for an ADD generation,. The Brooklyn duo of Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss have been at this for a while now, putting out noise-pop that at times can be dance-able and huge before instantly becoming incredibly grating and annoying. This trend continues for the duos fourth full length, Jessica Rabbit which pairs scattered riffs, plucky synths, electrobeats and jarring mid bar changes with some powerful singing.

The musical backing from Miller has changed little from the bands debut Treats, perhaps he has softened a tad and stopped trying to shock at every moment but those jarring changes are always going to be part of the Sleigh Bells formula. Opener "It's Just Us Now" quakes and shakes in the most random of moments, if this were back in the CD days listeners may have thought they got a scratched version when the song starts as clipped riffs choke off into pure silence. The track never catches hold, stuttering into an odd huge chorus that is jammed down your ears; unfortunately this track showcases the worst parts of the group. Crescendos come from nowhere, vocals and music don't match, or even sound like they were written for the same song as the track feels eternal at just over three and a half minutes.

However, the band can find magical moments among the chaos and one of those is clearly evident on "I Can't Stand You Anymore". Miller to his credit saves the hair metal riffs, school bell jingles and experimentation to the beginning and end, leaving Krauss to vent over a grooving minimalist R&B beat. Alexis Krauss vocals are confident and the best part of Jessica Rabbit as they blast out of the speakers and grab the listener by the lapels. Here she also harmonizes with herself over some glorious backing vocals adding a deeper dimension to the song with flashes of electro R&B.

Jessica Rabbit as a whole continues this up and down roller coaster ride for Sleigh Bells, who have staked their turf out by this stage in their career. Some tracks soar ("Crucible") some are immensely skippable ("Torn Clean", "Loyal For" "I Know Not To Count On You") most fall in-between ("I Can Only Stare", "Lightning Turns Saw Dust Gold", "Throw Me Down The Stairs", "Unlimited Dark Paths") as the group pushes and pulls with metal edged riffs and pop sensibilities.

Sleigh Bells tension between sonic worlds is their strength but the constant shifting and re-imaging dulls for when the real powerful collaborations are present.        
Some cool album art here, support the band, buy the album and peep some video below:

No comments:

Post a Comment