REVIEW: Sleigh Bells – Bitter Rivals

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Artist: Sleigh Bells
Album: Bitter Rivals
Release date: October 8, 2013

Twenty-thirteen has illustrated a shift in dance albums, particularly from indie artists. While some bands succeeded, others fell flat. Fortunately, Sleigh Bells falls into the former category. The noise pop duo’s take on a more polished and melody-based album revealed that Sleigh Bells are far from being a one-trick pony.

After the release of their sophomore album, Reign of Terror, Sleigh Bells immediately began working on even more new material. In comparison to their previous releases, Bitter Rivals has a more cohesive sound. It’s clear that vocalist Alexis Krauss and guitarist/producer Derek Miller not only spent their time wisely, but had fun.

Sleigh Bells’ third installment continues to highlight Krauss’ vocal range as she effortlessly interweaves abrasive yells with light crooning in songs such as, “Minnie” and “Sing Like A Wire.” Harsh guitars still play a huge role in each song, maintaining that Sleigh Bells-esque sound, however there’s a blend of kitschiness found throughout the album. From animal sounds in title track “Bitter Rivals” and “Tiger Kit” to giggles at the end of “Sugarcane,” this attention grabbing record is full of subtle nuances as well.

Accompanying the incredibly poppy melodies are affecting lyrics, especially in “Young Legends.”  Krauss sings, “Young legends die all the time/but I don’t mind, don’t close your eyes/don’t say goodbye, I’ll be your kind/don’t do it, don’t do it,” leaving a haunted yet reflective feeling. The mellow track “To Hell With You” is both solemn and tongue-in-cheek with lyrics such as, “don’t turn your back on me/wait and see/I’ll go to hell with you/here’s the proof.”

Although it seems like Sleigh Bells have rushed into a new album, they have proven to be capable of the fast-paced life style. (By Jennie Tan)

Listen to and watch the official video for “Bitter Rivals” below:

Tour dates for Sleigh Bells’ North American fall tour can be found on their official site: http://www.bitterrivals.us/

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