Label: MOM+POP/N.E.E.T. Release date: 21/06/2010 Website: Myspace Sleigh Bells are one of the most hyped bands out there at the moment (think of them as this summer’s Pains of Being Pure at Heart) with justified cause. Unlike a lot of the hyped bands however, this album is unashamedly new and distinct – this is not classifiable with any other scene or movement (its closest relatives would have to be in the DIY punk scene, perhaps for the ethics of the sounds created, or even Kap Bambino in places). We have here one exceptionally and deliberately original album. 'Tell ‘Em', the first track on the album, demonstrates exactly what they are all about – this is beautiful music with a heavy backing. Starting with a loud metal riff with a heavy bass-laden drum response, we are led through this loud meandering track by Alexis Krauss’ soft but commanding voice. We are then driven through their more punk and rap influences, through 'Kids', which sounds like if Justice made a song under N.E.E.T label boss MIA’s direction, and into the punk sounds of 'Riot Rhythm', 'Infinity Guitars' and the transitional 'Run The Heart'; Derek Miller making a piercing bass-heavy rhythm halfway between the glittery parts of Underworld and Squarepusher (you will need good speakers for this album), set off by Krauss’s melodic and gentle vocals before heading into 'Rachel', a slow but heavy song walking through a dramatic melody. Next up is 'Rill Rill', a summer track, and the first without Miller’s trademark synths – a track close to JJ’s distinctive style destined to be the soundtrack to this summer. After this treat (no pun intended) we are again pushed through into the electronic punk feel of 'Crown on the Ground' and 'Straight As', both of which bring to mind more of a 90’s hardcore feel to them (Miller was in Poison The Well after all) and punk vocal styles, much like the current UK punk scene (see DIVORCE for example); before launching into 'A/B Machines', a song with only two lines but a thudding and pacy sound. Finally we have 'Treats', the album closer, which opens like a Smiths track before becoming a minimalist noise pop anthem. Overall, I would say this is a challenging but fantastic album – it borrows from its own Brooklyn bands – there are elements of TV on The Radio in here, even in parts that don’t sound dissimilar to The Notorious B.I.G. In all honesty, this album has to be heard to be understood; the most I can do is recommend you go out and buy this masterpiece of current music. Oh, and get some speakers that can deal with bass. Photobucket