Sleigh Bells Slay Chicago Scene

Sleigh Bells
The Metro – Chicago, IL
04/29/2010

Once M.I.A. got her hands on Brooklyn-based team called Sleigh Bells, their unofficial fame has skyrocketed. For a band that has only released a few (insane) tracks, the blogosphere is all about this two piece band. In theory, the band seems extremely inaccessible: combining heavy dub beats with hardcore electric guitars and one previous pop princess? Sounds like a recipe for loud, ear-splitting noise. Yet, in its bizarre execution, I cannot get enough.

Imagine The Metro, packed, full of easily excitable youth who are all chanting for Sleigh Bells to come out and start the tracks they have only heard online. Once Derek Miller signaled he was ready and Alexis Krauss strutted through the dim lights, the crowd went wild for the duo. Krauss demanded attention with Beth Ditto vocals and stage antics not unlike Peaches. Of course, when anyone on stage is climbing speakers and screaming like a police siren, you are going to pay attention. The attention was not unwarranted and Sleigh Bells gave one of the best performances of the night, easily pushing Yeasayer to up the ante in their late set. While shredding songs like the hardcore pop of “Holly” or relying on the smooth summer beats in “Ring Ring”, Sleigh Bells maintain a wide appeal for alternative and pop music fans.

Thanks to the opening band, Sleigh Bells set was cut short by a song or two. It almost seemed as if their time on stage was overshadowed by Yeasayer, although Sleigh Bells put on an equally impressive show. In a time when music genre lines are becoming obscure, Sleigh Bells unashamedly takes their tunes to a new level. Miller is only beginning in his beat producing skills, yet set The Metro on fire with weighty bass lines and wailing guitar riffs in “Infinity Guitars.” Miller’s loud guitar is bordering on overpowering some of the pop-less songs, but when combined with Krauss’ raucous yet melodic voice both sounds are mellowed out, often echoing off one another.

“This is our first time as Sleigh Bells in Chicago, and we’re having a fucking blast! Are you?” Krauss yelled as she teetered at the lip of the stage. The crowd reacted with more excitability than kids at Christmas.

Once Miller’s guitar shorted out, Krauss spent some time awkwardly chatting with the audience. Thankfully the problem was fixed before she told any bad jokes and the duo resumed in blending the crowd’s minds into a pulp. Even after the technical problems, Sleigh Bells jolted back with the same amount of energy- if not more- than the start of the set. Although their finale was premature and sudden, the crowd sent the Brooklyn rockers off with one loud “goodbye.”

Treats, Sleigh Bells debut-LP explodes onto the scene May 11th which should prove delicious in its approach and appeal.

*Side note: In a recent interview, Derek Miller mentioned he provided some beats on M.I.A.’s upcoming LP. I’ll give you one guess as to the song…

You could know:
Sleigh Bells – Crown On The Ground

You should know:
Sleigh Bells – Ring Ring

www.myspace.com/sleighbellsmusic

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