If someone would have told me 4 or so years ago that one of the driving forces of seminal hardcore band Poison the Well was about to embark on an oddly mainstream, Pop-centric noise project with a vocalist he randomly met while working as a waiter in New York, I’d have said you were crazy and had no idea what you were talking about.
Flash forward to 2014, and we find ourselves eagerly awaiting the arrival of the now infamous duo known as Sleigh Bells. So, it turns out, I’m the one who has no idea what I’m talking about. Their debut, Treats, remains an all-time favorite album, one that encapsulates summer – and not just summer, but a particularly transitional and important one for me personally. Full of thrashy, bratty, often deceptively acidic musical choices, Treats was and is one of the strongest debuts by a relatively unknown quantity in recent memory.
Noisy, brash, brutally honest, and uniquely arrhythmic, Sleigh Bells is a pair of musicians that focuses on what they want first, worrying about the reaction of everyone else later. Driven by guitarist and programmer Derek Miller – formerly of melodic hardcore legends (and personal favorites) Poison the Well – and fronted and anchored by vocalist Alexis Krauss, this is a duo hell bent on bending often hellish noise to their will.
There is no doubt that this Tuesday’s show at Bogart’s will be aimed directly at the likely seething crowd, with Krauss the focal point and center of attention, beckoning fans with her increasingly controlled and refined performance. Meanwhile, expect guitarist Miller to tear through each riff with aggression and defiance, the musical paradox of what Sleigh Bells is becoming increasingly clear as the night wears on. Touring on their 2013 release, Bitter Rivals, expect the evening as a whole to consist of favorites old and new, highlighting the consistently dual-natured melodies, hooks, and dramatic loudness the band has made it’s calling card.
Call it noise-pop, call it indie-electro-rock, call it aggressive and experimental synthpunk. No matter how you label it, Sleigh Bells is going to make a lot of noise, and I imagine they’re going to expect you to do the same.