Posted by: Jeff | May 12, 2010

Album Review: Sleigh Bells – Treats

I was going to post a verbose and over-adjectived review of Sleigh Bells’ debut LP, Treats – in true New Millennial fashion – but it appears that The Awl’s Maura Johnston has already said everything I wanted to say.  From yesterday’s review, via KCD of Egomania:

Treats, the debut album by the Brooklyn-slash-Florida duo Sleigh Bells that is available for you to purchase today, vaulted to “one of my favorite albums of the year” status pretty much immediately after it landed in my iTunes. “What does it sound like?,” people ask me when I repeat that statement to them, and it is actually a question that I have had a devil of a time answering. So let me start off by saying this: The album bows with a guitar sound that resembles a cross between the “pew pew!” that comes out of one’s mouth when one is play-firing a finger-gun and a skyscraper-sized, earth-destroying laser — and from there, it only gets bigger, and more fun, and more like a sugar rush that feels much shorter than its 32 minutes.

It’s probably also worth noting that many of the loudest songs on this record bear more than a passing sonic resemblance to the scrapey guitars and hyperloud posturing of metal. In a time when women all over pop have been relegated to roles that are predicated on their hewing to gender roles as much as possible, it’s especially gratifying to see Krauss just going for it rock-style, banging her head in concert and howling along with the squealing guitars.

[F]or the most part, the album is loud, and aggressive, and fun. When I talk to people about Sleigh Bells, it’s interesting to see what points of comparison come up: Krauss’ cheery voice lends comparisons to pop; the blown-out sonics cause people to reach back to ’90s techno. While perusing Twitter earlier I saw comparisons to Ludacris, Dirty Projectors, and T. Rex. Treats is probably going to be a very polarizing record, but after an era where inoffensive blandness ruled the roost, I do not think that’s a bad thing at all.

There’s not a whole lot more to say, other than that Johnston’s characterization of Sleigh Bells’ sound as unique and form-defying is truly accurate.  In an age where most indie bands settle for rehashing the sound and style of yesterday’s favorite indie sound (Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, etc.), this album is unique, refreshing, and far too short.



  1. […] the news that she was influenced by this new band started the hype machine churning.  And now that we have an album, it’s safe to say that expectations have been met.  This is a band doing something uniquely […]

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  3. […] 1 6. The New Pornographers – Together 5. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record 4. Sleigh Bells  – Treats 3. The National – High Violet 2. Beach House – Teen Dream 1. LCD Soundsystem – […]

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