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CD of The Week

Week of 9/13/21

    Sleigh Bells - Texis (Mom + Pop)

    For over a decade now, Sleigh Bells have created a truly unique sound. Alexis Krauss’ pop-leaning vocals, Derek Miller’s cranked-up guitars and their collection of skittering drum machines add up to a specialized formula all their own. While their levels don’t go into the red as far as they used to (go back to their debut single “Crown on the Ground” for proof), the duo still has a knack for hitting the mark and creating hooks on their fifth full-length album Texis.

    Opener “SWEET75” starts by declaring “Here we go, here we go / You’re legitimate rock and roll,” but then ends on a question they may be asking themselves, “Aren’t you a little too old for rock and roll?” Lead single “Locust Laced” throws in some great Dick Dale surf guitar riffs before hitting the cheer-along whiplash chorus of “I feel like dynamite / I feel like dying tonight.” There are a few '80s mainstream production tricks lurking throughout Texis as well on songs like closer “Hummingbird Bomb.” “True Seekers” finds Sleigh Bells in CHRVCHES territory, between its synth-pop keyboards and Krauss’s melodies, while “Justine Go Genesis” lets Miller unleash some of his most metal guitar lines.

    The big beats are balanced out by the darkness in many of Krauss’s lyrics. A standout is “I’m Not Down,” an empathetic look at depression, where she sings, “Maybe you’re sad and that’s okay / Maybe you’re real / Maybe you’re afraid” and concludes that “we gotta look out for each other.”

    Krauss and Miller know their sound can get a bit overwhelming, which is why most of their albums clock in at just over a half-hour. Get in, assault the listeners’ senses (in a good way!) and get out. Texis is another great sleigh ride together with these two.

    Sleigh Bells are slated to wrap up their 2022 tour in Philadelphia on February 27th at The TLA.
    Review by Joey O.

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