Sleigh Bells

The dynamic duo of Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss jingles it up with such revolutionary zest that Sleigh Bells has emerged as one of the most impressive recent buzz bands. And the emphasis is definitely on buzz, since SB's sound is a magnificent, grinding mash of churning guitars, searing synths, thunderous beats, orchestrated distortion, blistering reverb, delicious sludge and twisted metal riffs. Yet Miller has crafted a melodic core that's such pure pop its sugary nature is the perfect juxtaposition to SB's bitter exterior, all the more so because Krauss's sweet, girl-groupish singing weaves through it all. Even her razor-sharp screams slather icing on Miller's noise-popsical. On Treats, Sleigh Bell's debut album, Krauss variously suggests Debbie Harry, M.I.A. and Ronnie Spector; Funkadelic crops up via a sample; there are intimations of Sonic Youth, the Strawberry Alarm Clock, Black Sabbath and Phil Spector's famed Wall of Sound, the latter so vivid on "Rill Rill" that it threatens to morph into the Ronettes' "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" — the perfect spot for sleigh bells.
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Rick Mason