Monday, July 19, 2010

Sleigh Bells: Is This the End of the Soft Revolution?

MRML has long raged against the dominance of overly-delicate monotony in what's called indie-rock but the deceptively-named Sleigh Bells (Adam Graham says " If Andrew WK's little sister started a band, it might sound like Sleigh Bells" though 'Venetian Snares meets the Vivian Girls' works as well) may be a sign that the genre's finally gonna get a little fucked-up.

The "sound-defining" song:

The bubblegum anthem that might end up getting used at sporting events:

And of course their version of a pretty song...


  1. You're always pleasantly surprising me, man. I've been raving about Sleigh Bells since I first heard them, but nobody believes me due to all the Pitchfork style hype. Thanks for backing me up!

  2. TK
    When you hear a band with a name like 'Sleigh Bells' being praised by the hipsters you can't help but throw up a little.
    But in the end it's the music that matters and their is great - I think they chose the name almost as a red herring.

  3. They are awesome, aren't they. Lots of J&MC feeling, craft in playing and writing too. Good on them for getting that distorted keyboard manner over from more arty things (Animal Collective etc) to the ears of more people. Reminds me too of more interesting (punk-like) synth music such as Crystal Castles or Wavves.

  4. Personally, I prefer Andrew WK.
    And I really dug that Crocodiles record on Fat Possum last year.

    This is cool, though. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
    It's definitely catchy stuff. Maybe it's not exactly my cup o' tea, but I wouldn't mind if high school kids in America started listening to this instead of Fergie and Ke$ha.

    I would listen to this band while shopping, or at a sporting event, for sure. Maybe in the car, too.

  5. Also, anyone who's seen El Vez's Xmas special knows that sleigh bells can rock.
    He usually ends his Xmas show with a leather sleigh bell costume singing "Now I Wanna Be Santa-Claus" to the tune of "Now I Wanna Be Your Dog."

    If you haven't seen it, you really owe it to yourself to check it out. He tours nearly every December.

  6. jbul
    Agree on all that and I think having a guitarist from a hardcore band like Poison the Well gives them a real edge.

    I own that first Andrew WK album and maybe this album can keep it compnay.

    Anon II
    I remember hearing about El Vez ("The Mexican Elvis") because Robert Lopez was in the Zeros. Now I gotta hear that Stooges-based Christmas carol!

  7. You can probably find some El Vez footage on YouTube, but the man really has to be seen live to be appreciated. Back-up dancers, multiple costume changes, and a great sense of humor that never overshadows the ROCK.

    He's got a bunch of different "concept albums" (Bowie homages, a gospel album, etc), but the main concept is just being a Mexican Elvis. He'll do a lot of straight-ahead cover songs with the lyrics tweaked to be more Mexican Elvis-y. He'll also do a lot of not-so-straight-ahead covers that still pay tribute to the originals.

    Basically, there's something for everyone at his shows, and you will definitely get your money's worth.

  8. Oh, man. I was the guy who was slightly dismissive of this band yesterday, but since then I've come back and listened to those YouTube tracks half a dozen times.

    I underestimated the catchiness! Now I'm afraid I'll get hooked.

    What's the antidote to this band?

    I think I'll try KISS' "Destroyer," see if that helps.

  9. Hi Jeffen

    A pretty average album really.Some good songs and some annoying songs.Wild Beasts and Titus Andronicus are other bands that both delight me and annoy me.

    My albums of 2010 so far are the new albums by Field Music and The Coral.Both are wicked live bands.I am a big fan of both bands.The new album by Alejandro Escovedo is also very good.

    The new albums by Robyn Hitchcock,Peter Case,The Sadies, and Cousin Harley are good.New Los Lobos and Richard Thompson in August.

    Cheers from the sunny west coast!


  10. Anon
    I'd love to check out an EL Vez show. I remember thinking it was just a quick gimmick like that Latino punk band that did all the those covers (their name escapes me now...)But after a bit you could tell he was taking it seriously and getting a great reaction.

    Anon II
    Glad you came back for another fix (and, sadly, there is no antidote for earworms! )

    It's above average to me, even with its imperfections. I gave that Titus Andronicus a fair spin and while I appreciated it, it never caught me. I will listen to the Escovedo album right away - he's always amazing. I'll have to scurry to check out some of the other bands you mentioned.

  11. Anon El Vez fan
    The name of the band I was reaching for was Manic Hispanic!

  12. I finally got around to listening to this band. Confound it! I like them. I was trying to avoid liking another hipster band. Between you and Dan Gordon's Song of the Day over on Facebook, I'm giving lots of strange bands a chance that I otherwise wouldn't try.

  13. TP
    Evn a hipster can be right. Must check out that song-of-the-day.

  14. 'overly-delicate monotony in what's called indie-rock'....great description! This track reminds me of early Beastie Boys, sticking a middle finger up at all the 80's manufactured pop.

  15. glad the description rung true (pun intended and regretted).


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