Last Night: Sleigh Bells & CSS At Warehouse Live

Sleigh Bells, CSS Warehouse Live April 24, 2011

See more photos in our slideshow.

The concept of loud music is in Aftermath's blood. From the sweet-ass two-page Van Halen mural our Uncle Kelly drew inside his junior high yearbook in 1984, the blown-out speakers in our first car from too much bad punk rock, to the constant ringing in our two ear cavities that we go to bed with like a live-in lover, spooning the annoying din.

So when a band like Sleigh Bells comes along, one that flaunts noise and crunch like a new pair of sprayed-on leggings and a dreamcatcher necklace, we tilt our head like a puppy hearing a dog whistle. You want to feel smug about it, pshaw and say "I'll tell you what noise is..." but Sleigh Bells are completely redefining what you can accomplish with loudness, in terms of making it tuneful.

Just listen to "Rill Rill" or "Run The Heart" from last year's Treats. That's some girl-group jazz.

Sleigh Bells are what pop is in 2011. Over-compressed, aggressively catchy, huge drums, with beats that scream "metal" but with vocals from raving tattooed brunette Alexis Krauss that coo like some unknown French chanteuse in 1967. There's no Robo-Britney here.

Canada's Crystal Castles are doing the same thing, but they could give a fuck about pop hooks, which the Bells have in the trillions, preferring to cake their sound with muddy Pretty Hate Machine-era Nine Inch Nails skronk.

Going into Sunday night's Warehouse Live gig, that was the only parallel we could draw: A bigger-budget, sunnier, Crystal Castles with a great beat you can shop to. You will soon read further to see that that opinion won't change much, but what will change will be the important stuff that goes into liking a band.

As for CSS, that's a party band from the clubs of Sao Paulo, Brazil who is currently doing touring run-up to their brand-new La Liberacion coming in late summer. They are still largely riding high on a legend from 2006, full of love for that year's self-titled debut.

CSS helped sell a few iPods with the help of the infectious grooves coming off lead singer Lovefoxxx, a tiny girl doing her best Poly Styrene. "Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex" will never, ever die.

Here goes the Twitter feed...

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty