This past Wednesday night, El Rey Theatre was drenched in sweat and buzzing in anticipation for Brooklyn’s hot new noise-pop sweethearts Sleigh Bells. A flashing strobe triggered the crowd’s roar as the adorably badass duo took the stage with their distorted, albeit lulling opener “Tell ‘Em.” Guitarist Derek Miller pops a cap with riffs that blast like a Duck Hunt pistol controller as stylish vixen Alexis Krauss, the object of every trendy 20-something’s lust, rolls on stage with the kind of swagger that could make a hipster boner spontaneously combust.
Too fresh to waste time, the band cut straight through it’s repertoire with minimal banter, allowing for maximum crowd participation in the form of stomps, claps, “uh-uh”s and “ah-ah-ah”s. This was totally one of those shows that you anticipate for weeks and arrive to find that everyone else is just as stoked and into it as you are, beaming with electricity and friendly people who are all gung-ho for the same reason. Sleigh Bells kept momentum at a steady boil with tramping hip hop-infused dance tracks like “Infinity Guitars” and “Kids,” and moshing ensued as “Riot Rhythm” sent everyone into a frenzy of good times. The vibe was enhanced with the tremolo of “Treats” and the entrancing stream of power chords and chants that is “A/B Machines.”
The unreleased b-side “Holly” played like a rough hybrid of Southern rock and crust punk to a mob of thrashing youngsters immersed in a sweat bath. The breezy feel-good “Rill Rill” inspired a sing-a-long that seemed to finally draw the heat of the L.A. summer to an end. “Straight A’s” was the only song that sounded even more abrasive than it did on their debut album, Treats, as the majority of the set was unexpectedly clear quality for the likes of these deafening darlings of the scene.
The most engaging and intimate show I’ve seen in a while came to an ear-splitting finish as everyone and their sister (anyone who’s anyone was there, folks) was bouncing and shoving into each other with blissfully inattentive recklessness to the soundtrack of “Crown on the Ground.” Aside from having the ability to shred the holy shit out of his axe, Miller came off quite charming in his pwecious wittle black hoodie of mischief. When Krauss filled the room with her signature squeal, it was less like a death rattle and more of a harmonious cadence to accent the brassy canvas of metal-pop-punk ecstasy. All in all, they were like two little cupcakes along a raucous backdrop of piercing racket that was too cool for school. Sleigh Bells are one buzz band whose eminent popularity (and inevitable leap into the realm of car commercials) will most likely be totally okay with you and your friends.
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