Filed under: 2010 Top 25
I totally ignored Sleigh Bells for a lot of the same reasons I totally ignored Crystal Castles: they struck me as Pitchfork-endorsed hipster wankers. But, as with Crystal Castles, it was an error. Wankers they may well be but they’re also great.I left it so late to give them a chance, in fact, that I heard them for the first time only last week and Treats has been played endlessly since.*
Sleigh Bells’ basic M.O. is to stick some recycled metal riffs and hip hop beats through so much distortion it almost ends up sounding like breakcore and then stick some vocals over the top – either sassy shouting or sugar sweet girl pop. It’s a simple trick and it shouldn’t work over a whole album but it really does. To sound like MIA (they’re on her label), early Public Enemy, ARE Weapons, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Crystal Castles all at once and not suck; to get 11 great tracks into a little over 30 minutes; to make a glorious sickly sweet racket that somehow manages to sound fresh; all qualities to be cherished.
Even hipster wankers get it right sometimes.
(* this late discovery meant some last minute rejigging of my Top 25 and I’m afraid The Melvins album got dropped but only just and it is really ace and you should at least listen to The Water Glass which is fucking crazy)
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