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Album Review: Sleigh Bells - Treats
by Kevin Seehousz

The meeting of Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss seems like it’s out of a romantic movie. She was a fifth grade teacher with a background in pop singing. He was working in a Brooklyn restaurant after being the guitarist of post-hardcore outfit Poison the Well for some years. They met. A week later they were recording music and would become known as Sleigh Bells.

The music is all a production of Miller, who say it all starts with and revolves around a beat. The beats laid down on Treats sound like they are straight out of an underground hip-hop album, but with a thick layer of fuzz keeping things nice and distorted. With the same going for the hazy synths and blazing guitars, noise is a huge factor in what makes Sleigh Bells work in a unique and fun way. The vocals add a charming touch to the intense mix with the soft and seductive voice of Krauss.

The album opener, "Tell 'Em", sets the tone for Treats with an abrasive, loud, and anthemic guitar riff played over a bold beat. "Riot Rhythm" "Infinity Guitars" and "Crown On the Ground" follow suit, with a strong beat and aggressive nature. Tracks like "Run the Heart" and "Rill Rill" give the listener a bit of a breather with softer vocal melodies and slower beats. Treats seems to perfectly display both sides of Sleigh Bells, raw and aggressive versus soft and sweet. It’s all catchy and fun though.

If you’re looking for that summertime treat (pun intended) that will keep you dancing for a good 32 minutes straight, Treats might just be what you’re looking for. Don’t underestimate its power though. The noisy beats and electrifying guitars will leave you in awe.