Sleigh Bells

(Copyright © 2010 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )

Treats (2010) , 7/10
Reign of Terror (2012), 6.5/10

Sleigh Bells, the New York-based duo of multi-instrumentalist Derek Miller (formerly a punk-rocker in Poison The Well) and vocalist Alexis Krauss, concocted harsh psychotic dance music on Treats (NEET, 2010). She intones naive twee refrains and he blasts them with loud multi-layered industrial-metal arrangements. In fact Tell 'Em has little more than machine-gun and panzer rhythms to devastate Krauss' nursery rhyme. A similar childish singsong gets mauled by electronic noise in Run The Heart. Kids is a sort of tribal chant with industrial-grade percussion and electronic miasmas. The hip-hop declamation of Infinity Guitars collides with pounding drums and heavy-metal guitar. Throughout the booming and distorted Crown On The Ground one can hardly hear the vocalist. Her rap is submerged by thumping, rolling and hissing noise in A/B Machines. Treats unleashes a brutal vibrato crossed with an anthemic riff to defile her angelic verses. The ultimate sadomaso experience is Straight A's, a tsunami of punk guitars and mad electronics that lasts only 90 seconds. At the other end of the spectrum, the ballad Rill Rill is, by comparison, an oasis of simple marching melody.

Reign of Terror (Mom+Pop, 2012) drowns into a maelstrom of heavy-metal riffs, involuntarily sounding like a parody of arena-rock. The vocals are mostly thrown in the background, but the songs that do attain psychotic pathos are precisely the ones dominated by Krauss: the booming industrial metal rigmarole "Comeback Kid", the Def Leppard-ian power-videogame anthem "Tune Shred Guitar" and the catchy mirror-maze vocal game "Road to Hell". The rest rarely achieves the grotesque mystique of the martially syncopated Born To Lose.

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(Copyright © 2010 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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