Warning: “Treats” may not be for everyone. This debut album from the newly formed Sleigh Bells is anything but typical.
Sleigh Bells is only a two-member act, yet they pack a lot of punch.
Derek Miller, a former hardcore guitarist, teams up with Alexis Krauss and her sassy vocals. The result is what could be expected from such a mash-up chaotic harmony.
The entirety of “Treats” is a constant battle of the bass fighting the treble for the upper hand. Distorted guitars, dance beats, catchy riffs, synthesized sounds, and angelic vocals all collaborate to formulate this entirely unique and unclassifiable sound.
The guitars and distortions were intentionally recorded with sub par equipment to give the tracks a rough, edgy feel. Just listening to a few seconds of each track will confirm Miller got this feel correct.
From the get-go, the listener is immersed in the heavy pounding base of “Tell ‘Em,” neatly juxtaposed to high-energy guitar riffs. Krauss’ melodic voice appears seconds later, fully disclosing what your ears are in for during the rest of the album.
No doubt about it—this album begs you to crank the volume up and flick on the subwoofer.
While most, if not all the tracks have some form of heavy, pounding bass beats, “Kids,” “Infinity Guitars,” and “Treats” are especially spectacular in this regard.
On the other hand, the only mellow song on the disc is “Rill, Rill.” However, its tuneful melody and relaxed beat easily makes it one of the two best tracks of the album.
The album’s one weak spot is the strength of its lyrics. At best, the meanings of most of the lyrics are quite confusing.
While catchy, it just seems Krauss utters disjointed phrases together like a toddler playing around with word magnets on a refrigerator. But maybe that’s the point. Beautiful chaos.
Perhaps it is left up to the listener to love or hate, much like the album as a whole.
“Treats” is one of those bodies of work that will either be lauded and adored, or be scorned and deemed distasteful with little in between.
You’ll have to decide which by giving the album a listen yourself.