16th Feb 2011 – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham – Newly signed to N.E.E.T (MIA’s label) Sleigh bells have come crashing onto the indie scene with their unique, gritty sound. Playing last week at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms to a packed auditorium, you could hear the pulse of the crowd as the lights went out signalling the start of the gig. Out of the darkness came the sounds of Fleetwood Macs ‘Everywhere’ which was then utterly obliterated by some hard-core thrash metal, accompanied with an encore of strobe lights that reminded me of the war scene from the Terminator movie. Sleigh Bells seemed to be declaring war on easy – listening music and the crowd where loving it.
Suddenly from the pits of the stage came the heavenly sounds of Alexis Krauss’s voice and order, of a sort’s, was restored. Opening the show with ‘Infinity Guitars’ their catchy, cheerleader chant-esque single from their first album ‘Treats’, the crowd went literally mental. The duo made up of Alexis Krauss and Derek. E. Miller thrashed, swore and screamed throughout their short but sweet 45 minute set, remember they only have 1 album.
The duo pounded out hip-hop-inspired beats that shook the whole room, this aggressive beat was accompanied by Miller’s gutter-scraping hooks and Krauss with her sugar-sweet voice, mixed with expletives, was like a chemical explosion going off. This dangerous mix of contrasting sounds, shouldn’t work but somehow does and the Sleigh Bells sound is addictive and utterly compelling. Krauss is an amazing front woman, who possesses stage presence and a unique hybrid of punk meets kooky-indie-chick style, which easily rivals Karen O in the cool stakes.
The buzz around this band is currently at fever pitch, and judging by the restless crowd reaction when they left the stage, this momentum is just going to grow and grow. I definitely recommend you sample some tunes from the Sleigh Bells songbook as they continue on their UK tour.