[....The first review I ever did, it's horrible, but I like to keep it this way, because I remember being proud to just write the bloody thing.]
Sleigh Bells are a noisepop duo from Brooklyn, New York. In the band are Derek Miller (guitarist, songwriter and producer of this LP) and Alexis Krauss, who takes on the singing duties.
Treats is Sleigh Bells debut album, and it is certainly an album that will leave you with more than a buzz in your ears if you can manage to listen to the whole album at full volume with headphones. A big part of this album is volume and noise, the use of the air-like vocals on top of the crashing drums and penetrating keyboards makes this album EXTREMELY loud, which is something that can be both seen as a good and bad thing.
Let’s start with the pros shall we.
The loudness of this album really puts a lot of competing albums to shame, this album is a very fresh idea of taking the use of groovey, floor thuddering bass that takes over today’s mainstream music and just takes it to the extreme. This use of “taking things to the extreme” is something that is very refreshing because it a certainty that you will become pumped up by this album, testosterone levels will be sky high at the end of the album. That’s something I expect today’s teenagers will be looking for, something that is immensely loud to piss off their parents, but yet still listenable.
With the use of loudness becomes a sense of rebelliously from Treats, not only is it creating a big sense of “Hey! Pay attention to me please!” but it’s as if it is standing up and creating a void against the rest of the music out in the world right now. For example, the song “Straight A’s” is just a minute and a half long, but it is incredibly loud, and when the song kicks in with the drums, it’s guarantee’d that your head will fall off from headbanging so much by the end of it. It’s a short fireworks explosion that really emphasises this rebellious element the album creates.
The last song on the album, Treats, seems to have a beat that could be used in a march throughout a city, if this song was accessible to Hitler, I’m sure he’d have used it. The song even has a particular part in it that sounds like Hitler himself giving a rally, very weird.
Finally, another aspect of this album that I like a lot is how well the production of this album is, despite this album obviously being about volume and noise, you are able to pick up every layer of each of the 11 songs on this album, and I’m glad, because it shows that Sleigh Bells are very talented, and I’m glad that the production didn’t turn these songs into a protruding blob of noises.
However, with everything, there are cons.
First of all, the bad that I mentioned earlier in this review. The level of noise is just..too much in some songs, there are two songs in particular that I do not like on the album, they are “Run The Heart” and “Rachel”. Specifically, Run The Heart has too much noise to it, where I think it just sounds like a car alarm, and I don’t want to hear car alarms in any situation, yet alone a song.
The second and final problem that I have with this album is the style of the vocals which is continuously used in every song. The use of breathy, air-like vocals in every.single.song just start to get a little tedious and annoying, but I think in the case of “Rachel” the vocals are really taken over the line of “extreme” and moved into “shit.”
Overall, I say that Treats gets a solid 8/10, I could give it a higher score, but I have a feeling that once I get over the noise and volume and I become partially deaf because of it, I will start to show a decline towards the album. If “Run The Heart” and “Rachel” somehow made it on the album, I’d hate to know what they didn’t even consider to put on the album. Still, 9 out of the 11 songs I like, so that’s a pretty good start.