June 23, 2010

Tell ’Em

This one goes out to Landon Donovan & the Comeback Crew:

» Sleigh Bells – Tell ’Em (2:56) – 6.1MB m4a @ 256kbps

You know how we do.

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May 13, 2010

Sleigh Bells

If you don’t know, now you know: Sleigh Bells are the latest product of blogosphere hype machinery, and at the risk of fanning the flames, I’ll echo everyone from my friend Sean (who has a nominal claim to their rise, since he booked their second gig back in October) to the New York Times in praise of the Brooklyn duo.


Despite Sean’s best attempt to get me to see them last fall, I didn’t end up at that show (I should have known better after his last tip on the Drums), but between CMJ and SXSW, Sleigh Bells blew up: they played to a sold-out crowd at Ridgewood Masonic Temple on Tuesday to mark the release their debut album Treats. I was lucky enough to have bought my ticket before M.I.A.’s unannounced guest appearance at smaller gig last Friday, which surely spurred ticket sales over the weekend.

The Sundelles’ surf/garage stylings was merely a diversion and I was curious about Cults, who are on the fast track to blowing up, but I was mostly looking forward to my first Sleigh Bells experience and they didn’t disappoint. There’s not much to the performance itself but it’s as good a time as one might have at a concert, and I completely agree with Matthew Perpetua’s excellent appraisal of Sleigh Bells at Tuesday’s show:

Like the music itself, the show is elemental and assertive, simple enough to be obvious, though novel enough to make you wonder why no one has ever really done it quite like this before.

–Matthew Perpetua, Devil Horns Best Friends, Fluxblog, May 12 2010

To Perpetua’s list of adjectives, I would add: visceral, immediate and cathartic; apocalyptic yet ultimately triumphant. It’s pop, punk and hip-hop, compressed to the limit of listenability, which somehow makes it all the more appealing… or overhyped, depending on your point of view.


As for the music itself, Alexis’s vocals strike me as more riot-grrl than M.I.A., though affinity is clear: those drum-machine-gun beats could turn a ghettoblaster into a Future Weapon, while Derek’s SG delivers more hardcore riffage than most indie kids would dare (he previously shredded for Poison the Well).

Even so, the sonic assault scarcely belies the sheer catchiness of the tunes, and Treats is the first party album of the summer whether you like it or not. Sleigh Bells are the band of the moment, and frankly there’s nothing wrong with that.

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May 6, 2010

Bloc Rockin' Beats

via Stereogum

If the new video for his ravey new track “Tenderoni” (produced by Spank Rock’s XXXChange) is any indication, Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke hopes to bring electro back with his solo project. (Man, that bassline brings me back… to Wiley’s ’08 jam “Wearing My Rolex” or Peaches’ “I Feel Cream.”)

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I’ve been a fan of Booka Shade since their second album, 2006′s Movements (I enjoyed 2004′s Memento and 2008′s The Sun and the Neon Light as well), and I was excited to learn that the arty German techno duo is continuing their biannual trend of new LPs with the forthcoming More!. Check out the music video for the new track “Bad Love” below:

’Sup also has a favorable review of Juan Maclean’s DJ Kicks, which is also on my ever-growing list of albums to get, along with…

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Crystal Castles
, Ratatat, and buzzy newcomers Sleigh Bells (above) all have new albums.

2010′s Crystal Castles improves on their (also self-titled) debut in nearly every way. The latest from the Toronto-based electro duo is reminiscent of the jump forward taken by Deerhunter between Cryptograms and Microcastle, or Fuck Buttons from Street Horrrsing to Tarot Sport. Like those acts, Crystal Castles have reconciled with their detractors instead of running from them. By staying true to themselves, they’ve created a more focused, propulsive, and satisfying follow-up.

–Ian Cohen, Pitchfork, April 29 2010

*I happen to love both of the sophomore albums mentioned in Cohen’s review.

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Bonus beats + pieces:
Aeroplane does the 500th Essential Mix.

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