CODY SEXTON & JOHN SADLER
First things first: Sleigh Bells is NOT a band that performs Christmas carols.
They are, however, a raucous, dissonant riot of a good time, a point which has been driven home by their newest album, “Bitter Rivals.”
Lead vocalist Alexis Krauss and guitarist Derek Miller create a sound not as iconic as their debut “Treats,” but more complete than their second album, “Reign of Terror.”
The album’s release triggered a promotional tour with various supporting artists, which we were lucky enough to see in Dallas October 26.
Highlights from the new album include crowd pleaser “Minnie” and the title track “Bitter Rivals” during which Krauss assures her lover though they fight, she cannot live without him.
Other favorites include the surprise hits “Young Legends,” which is far more “poppy” than the other tracks, and “Sing Like a Wire,” a song that sounds like a blend of Janet Jackson and My Bloody Valentine.
On the track “You Don’t Get Me Twice,” Krauss assumes her usual dominant role informing a former paramour his chances of getting back with her are slim to none.
Upon arriving at the venue, the illusion of Krauss’ tough-girl exterior was momentarily shattered.
We met and spoke with her, and she could not have been more sweet.
We realized we were right all along, however, as she took the stage in boxing gloves and a leopard print robe, wailing the first few lines of “Minnie.”
We were terrified.
The duo seemed to emanate a nonstop source of energy on par with that of the Energizer Bunny on speed.
By the third song, the crowd had almost exhausted itself, but the wail of Miller’s guitar signaling the intro of the band’s most popular song “Crown on the Ground” channeled life back into everyone.
Sleigh Bells is undoubtedly a band to be seen live.
“Bitter Rivals” is an album made for the tour scene, with mosh-inducing guitar lines and choruses that encourage the whole audience to sing along.
Their sound had become too massive for them to perform alone, leading to the debut of a new live guitarist and drummer.
Though we were disappointed they did not perform their hit “Rill Rill,” the fact that they stayed after the show to ensure everyone got a picture and autograph inspired our forgiveness.
“Young Legends” for sure.