Sleigh Bells, the New York-based duo of multi-instrumentalist Derek Miller
(formerly a punk-rocker in
Poison The Well)
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 angry Joan Jett-esque anthem Tune Shred Guitar,
the catchy mirror-maze vocal game Road to Hell,
the "girl-group meets Def Leppard via REM" Crush.
The rest rarely achieves the grotesque mystique of the
martially syncopated Born To Lose.
Bitter Rivals (2013) is derivative of so many styles that a detailed
review would be too long. It begins with
bombastic hip-hop a` la
of Bitter Rivals and peaks (melodically speaking) with
the bubblegum pop a` la Britney Spears of
Sing Like a Wire sounds like Michael Jackson fronting the Nine Inch Nails.
Tiger Kit borders on
Rage Against The Machine's rap-metal.
You Don't Get Me Twice is Joan Jett gone rap.
The most fashionable song is perhaps Love Sick, which has a sweet soul melody over fashionable digital polyrhythms and crunchy guitar riffs.
Jessica Rabbit (2016) is just not very musical.
Alexis Krauss screams, shouts, raps, and croons but there is little substance
to songs that sound like amateurish imitations of fashionable styles.
Everything is so unnecessarily bombastic (the
messy Britney Spears-esque It's Just Us Now,
the even messier Rule Number One,
the danceable Crucible)
the sweet ballad Hyper Dark comes as a breath of fresh air.
I Can't Stand You Anymore
is third-rate power-pop, and
Throw Me Down the Stairs
is third-rate pop-metal.
The seven-song EP Kid Kruschev (2017) contains the ethereal soul ballad
Rainmaker and the more poignant ballad
And Saints, songs with unusually basic accompaniment. The usual dose
of crunchy guitar riffs sounds wasted in Panic Drills.
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