As far as I recall 2010 brought me quite a lot of ‘hipster approved’ music. And to be honest, bands such as Local Natives, Caribou, Balthazar, Sleigh Bells, Suuns and Warpaint showed a lot of promise back then. The press however was most jubilant about the all-female art-rock outfit, Warpaint, coming from Los Angeles. Surely the involvement of former Red Hot Chilli Peppers guitarist John Frusciante had something to do with that. Initially he successfully helped Theresa Wayman (vocals and guitar) et al to create a trendy, but also out of the box, post-punk sound. Warpaint’s first full length album, The Fool, was therefore deemed to become a self fulfilling prophecy of success. The Fool confirmed this status and stormed the 2010 indie charts and also received some favourable reviews for being swamped with moody chords and haunting vocals. However, where do we go from here? Extending a successful phase by simply releasing a new record isn’t an easy task. For their colleagues Sleigh Bells and Suuns the follow up proved to be a troublesome struggle. Indeed this doesn’t automatically mean another, more negative, self fulfilling prophecy for Warpaint is opening up. So lets give the eponymous second album a spin and hear if they’re able to enchant listeners once again.
Earlier this week I fell asleep to the soothing voice of Bill Callahan… BUT WOKE UP TO THE AGGRESSIVE BEATS FROM THE NOISE POP BAND SLEIGH BELLS the next morning… I sighed deeply for a moment yet quickly was reminded of the fact that I still enjoy the debut of Sleigh Bells, Treats (2010). What I love about Treats is its intensive rawness, coming from mind blowing disordered riffs, hardcore beats and electro, and the interweaved feminine cuteness. I mean, ´Straight A´s´, ´Run To The Heart´ and the Diplo remix of ´Demons´ are just top-notch. At the time Sleigh Bells seemed to be a sort of wildcard in the indie scene, defying all kinds of conventions and taking the freedom to stir up some trouble. The simple and direct pounding continued on their sophomore album Reign of Terror in 2012. Vocalist Alexis Krauss and guitarist Derek Edward Miller described the latter as “the sonic equivalent of a beautiful shotgun to the head”. Thats not a bad comparison, apart from the fact that Reign of Terror was also groomed to attract a larger audience. Whilst the album did reach a number 12 spot in the Billboard 200 in its opening week, it plummeted to number 78 in the second week and was completely forgotten in the weeks that followed. Maybe people just don’t like to buy music with shotguns to their heads, hmm? Continue reading →