Music May 20, 2010 By Benjamin Gold

     They hit that eternal sweet spot of being familiar, and yet completely original. Their combo of rock guitars, hip hop beats, and singing is nothing new, but their approach is disarmingly straightforward. My favorite songs are the ones that have been floating around the Internet since the band debuted last fall, like the brutally minimalist “Infinity Guitars”, which starts loud and explodes into an even louder guitar, synth, and bass crescendo. Krauss, whose saccharine sweet voice builds to a roar by the end, is buried in the mix, which is a shame because she’s the real key to Sleigh Bells’ widespread success. A former teenybopper, Krauss lends an air of professionalism to Miller’s homemade chaos. She especially shines on “Rill Rill”, the obvious crossover hit. Liberally cribbing a melody from Funkadelic’s “Can You Get To That”, the song allows Krauss to take the spotlight she so deserves.
     After repeat listens, the volume of Treats starts to feel not just tacked on, but like a ploy for Sleigh Bells to make you think they’re tougher than they are. Much like M.I.A., who is releasing the album on her own N.E.E.T. Recordings imprint, this is pop music dressed as counter-culture; they’re the scary tattoo-covered dude who seems unapproachable but, at heart, is actually a really nice guy. Sleigh Bells might say more about our current state in pop music than any other contemporary act, but that’s totally besides the point.

Buy this at iTunes.

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