Sleigh Bells – Treats

Rating: ½ · · · ·

Sure, you could say that we’re a little bit late on getting into the whole Sleigh Bells Treats hype, but we do have our reasons.  The first one is that the album didn’t actually make it out until today.  Our second reason is that we’re (ATH) just not into it at all, and we haven’t been for quite some time (since the beginning to be honest).   The question for most of you will be can we legitimately rally against this album with substance rather than just go against the grain.

First, let me get the fun factor out of the way.  I see that some people might find this an enjoyable record to listen to while they’re prepping for the evening, and I respect your right to feel that way.  But, I’m not sure where the fun is being generated from.  Opening track “Tell Em'” has some watered down arena rock power chords thrown in there, and the beats are probably one of the more annoying things I’ve come across, not to mention the fact that they aren’t interesting in the least bit.  Perhaps it’s the banging beats that resemble some sort of cheesy radio-friendly single, or the fact that her vocals in some part greatly resemble MIA, who I’m personally not into either.

Speaking of lacking originality, my main factor for hating this band is their blatant rip off of The Kills.  I promise you that if you were to go and listen to the construction of the songs, you would notice some striking similarities.  For instance, take “Infinity Guitars” then go listen to The Kills “Alphabet Pony.”  It’s far too similar for this to be merely a coincidence, and since Derek comes from a sort of punk background, he’ll likely know about Alison Mosshart if he knows his history.  Instead of the dirtiness of The Kills, Sleigh Bells is using a more metal guitar sound, and what sounds a lot like reggaeton dance beats (the uninspired ones).  Personally, neither of those attributes really instills any emotions within, and despite being awfully loud, the musical sounds just aren’t really progressive enough to catch my attention.

And at time, Alexis is just moaning or making grunts into the microphone during the entirety of songs, such as “Rachel.”  I’m not sure how that qualifies as fun or enjoyable, but I know a lot of people out there who seem to be enjoying it.   Really, the most disruptive thing about Treats is the fact that I feel like I’m in some high school gymnasium preparing for the big homecoming football game against our bitter rivals.  Alexis is that annoying cheerleader you all think is hot, but you  probably hate (not that I hate Alexis, or know her even), who just yells to pump you all up while you stomp your feet on the bleachers.  How is that interesting?  I hated pep rallies, and having to endure an album’s worth of pep rally is just far too much for this listener.

So, in conclusion, you should go listen to The Kills (they’re far better).  You’ll love Sleigh Bells (or hate them) for all of about ten minutes of Treats before you realize that it’s not really fun, and in fact, its quite grating.  There are better bands that use electronics and guitar parts for a far more creative output.  Then again, this is all just one man’s opinion, so please don’t take offense.  You’re allowed to like what you like, and I’m allowed to have my voice, so let’s leave it at that, remaining friends forever.

**Note** This review is in no way sponsored by The Kills or approved by The Kills.

14 comments

  • What if perhaps someone was reading Old Man And The Sea over the guitar licks. Would you enjoy it more as it held some sort of intellectual value?

    =p

    *I never expected ATH to like this album

  • I think it’s also worth noting that I expected you to like this album Berk.

  • Maybe if it was like Love in the Time of Cholera; I’m not a giant Hemingway fan. With some horns; I like horns.

  • if you’re not “into” something. You shouldn’t write about it?

  • I’m not really sure that’s true Jacob. Shouldn’t a person who writes about music draw from their experience as a listener and knowledge of music in order to apply it to new bands? It’s all a matter of opinion anyways, but I think its pertinent to write about things you don’t like.

  • I’m with Nathan on this one. I actually wish bloggers would lambaste records more often. Spice of life.

    However I think the real reason ATH hates this particular record is because they are part of a government conspiracy to have every upbeat dance album banished to the depths of Williamsburg never to be heard from again. Or until 2015 when hipster is retro. Or maybe that will happen in July. Not sure.

  • Jacob-

    You seem to be doubting yourself with that comment. Why not write about something that you don’t agree with when you are applying yourself as a resource for reliable information? It’s all relative, but if all we read about is how good everything is, then we fail ourselves in working towards being well informed human beings. There’s a lot of popular music that sucks, there’s a lot of popular ideas that suck, there are a lot of things about life that suck, but if you aren’t aware of them, then how do you appreciate the stuff that is really good?

    We would all just read Rolling Stone if that were the case.

    love the post guys!

  • Thanks for the love and support Michael.

    Also, I want to let Berk know that we are not anti-dancing. I just prefer to do my dancing to classic bands like New Order and The Cure. They use those things called guitars to create danceable melodies, which is far more fun to shake it to than garage band beats. If you use instruments to make dance music, I’m in, but if you used your lap top I think I hate you. Fair?

  • You’ve never been unfair Nathan.

    Can you please review Die Antwoord next?

  • My style is UFO

  • I’m with Nathan on this one. I actually wish bloggers would lambaste records more often. Spice of life.

    However I think the real reason ATH hates this particular record is because they are part of a government conspiracy to have every upbeat dance album banished to the depths of Williamsburg never to be heard from again. Or until 2015 when hipster is retro. Or maybe that will happen in July. Not sure.

  • i can’t wait to punch Berk in the dick again.

  • This band earned their hype to me when I saw them live. Such an amazing band live.

    I think the way to look at the record is that yes it is simple and derivative, but that’s what makes it so good. This band is stripped down climax rock. Like Tom Petty says, “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus”.

  • i’m completely one with this review. part of me is just confused at where one gets enjoyment out of this album, derived or not, because plenty of bands sample, etc, but it really just makes me feel like i’m having a bad migraine…..because i am. it not even that its too loud. its just too loud and the music isn’t GOOD. i can actually NOT see why people enjoy it. it has nothing to do with them being unoriginal…though that adds to it.
    i don’t think they’ve earned their hype at all. i dont think simple and derivative are good things for music– for some reason that makes me think about 1984.

    whatever.
    i saw them live first, before listening to them. im still confused as hell, but this is just an opinion, if other people like them they can do just that, i’ll just be confused.

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