Sleigh Bells live review – by Mr. Spencer
At Louder Than War we love Sleigh Bells. Their mash up of hardcore, hip hop and distorted pop is right here, right now.ÃÂ Mr. Spencer saw them live in London and agrees.
Feb 14 2011
In this setting, with Heaven’s brick railway arches sweeping above a crowd pummelled by a truly epic sound system, the air buzzes with expectation. But before we catch our first glimpse of Sleigh Bells – until now mostly heard but not seen – the dismally named Teeth stir several dollops of Crystal Castles thump into a tech-pop brew that contains enough bleeping, looping originality to distinguish them from mere copyists and mark them as worthy of observation.
After a long wait filled by muscular hip-hop and, perhaps tellingly, a refreshing blast of ABBA’s ‘SOS’ (sounding great at ear-popping volume!) Brooklyn’s Sleigh Bells stalk onstage to a roar sufficiently heartfelt to suggest genuine loyalty rather than slavery to industry hype.
Then with a lunge of his arm songwriter/producer Derek Miller unleashes the first in a series of power chords that, combined with his brutal programmed beats, rattle this building’s walls. At the same time singer Alexis Krauss starts to shimmy, jump, writhe and roll around the stage, a blur of energy, her forceful yet seductive vocals adding a sheen of melody to the maelstrom; ‘Tell ‘Em’ spits its licks like a howitzer; ‘Infinity Guitars’ inspires an unlikely singalong as the crowd apes the song’s simple three-note hook before being overwhelmed by a surge of feedback, then ‘Run The Heart’ sprinkles fairy dust into the sonic swirl. The onslaught is raw, relentless, irresistable.
With their debut album, ‘Treats’, Sleigh Bells have created a euphoric, deliberately too-loud album that clobbers you over the head, shouts in your ears then scarpers, leaving you dazed and enslaved. Tonight the duo adopt a similar strategy, pounding us into submission then offering a suggestive hug with the slinky ‘Rill Rill’ – until a jubilant Alexis dives into a sea of hands, briefly vanishing before climbing back onstage only to promptly sod off with Miller after just 30 minutes. We’re left gasping for more. That’s the way to do it!