Treats - Sleigh Bells

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. there's nothing else like this band right now and possibly ever. The volume and power of late 90s rap metal without all the stupidity and endless chugalug. Vocals that not only sing sweet melodies but support them with harmonies that push and pull against the current of noise, only sassy and canny, like a My Bloody Valentine that's being marketed to pre-teens.
  2. Even though it's as ambitious an exercise in freeform genre-splicing and pure, amp-blowing volume as has been attempted in the past few years, it's always at least as fun as it is smart, taking the three great pillars of guilty-pleasure music (deafening arena-rock swagger, sugary pop hooks, and delirious dance beats) and rolling them together into a singularly appealing cacophony.
  3. Treats is just a whole goddamn lot of fun to listen to. It's a supremely raw and visceral pop masterwork, one appropriate to rocking out with headphones on, windows-down bumping on car stereos, four-A.M. warehouse dance parties and countless other summer moments that'll soon have soundtracks courtesy of Sleigh Bells.
  4. That their most charming song by far is the straight George Clinton rip "Rill Rill," which leaves open the question of what they can do for an encore. I'll grant that minimalist bands always leave that question open if you'll grant that too often the answer is repeat themselves.
  5. It's as if every element of Sleigh Bells' genre-swerving sound--primitive guitar fuzz, pastiche beats, sugar-buzz?vocals--bypasses the default snark button and burrows?directly into jaded listeners' punch-drunk pleasure centers.
  6. Krauss and Miller immediately reach for the jugular on nearly every track of Treats. The trick could wear thin quickly, but the tracks that previously made the Internet rounds as demos sound just as vital here as they did on first download.
  7. Being interesting, unique, fun and damn good is near impossible to pull off. Sleigh Bells has done it on Treats, and goddamn is it good.
  8. Stripping away all of the surrounding noise, it allows Krauss to bring her dizzyingly sweet voice to the fore, showing that Sleigh Bells are not just a one trick pony and that these songs work on more than just the basis that they are great at shaking windows.
  9. Weighing in at just 32 minutes, Treats can hardly be accused of outstaying its welcome. In fact, its brevity is its strength - too much aural pummelling could be too much. As it is, as soon as the album finishes, you'll want to put it on again straight away.
  10. Even though there are a few tracks where Sleigh Bells try to get away with bluster and decibels alone, it's amazing how much of Treats backs up the talk and the walk.
  11. Forceful is just what is capturing about Treats. It is what makes it so hardcore to the bone. Miller puts together gritty guitar licks and hammering beats worthy of an opening slot with Ghengis Tron in my eyes and matches it to the beautiful, yet aggressive sound of Krauss' mouth.
  12. Together they create absorbingly terse songs, and prove that the indie-rock trend of minimalist, two-person bands still has some kick in it.
  13. The combination of the music's essentials-- jackhammer riffs clipped from punk and metal, mid-tempo beats from hip-hop and electro, and supremely catchy sing-song melodies-- is striking on its own, sounding remarkably fresh and unlike anything else right now. But an even greater source of the record's appeal is how it doesn't sound especially referential.
  14. The best part of Treats is that it makes you rethink the possibilities of this kind of music. It is possible for a former girl-group member and a former hardcore guitarist to get together to make an album that is more daring and more fun than anything you'll likely hear on Top 40 radio this year.
  15. This stuff is genuinely, earnestly satisfying, in the same way all great pop music is: these songs, simply and purely, sound fucking great.
  16. Drawing influence across the board, it's a work that not so much mixes genres as smashes them into one visceral, jaw-dropping hybrid.
  17. Sleigh Bells' novelty though, lies in a tingling barrage of granular guitar distortion and overdriven, over-compressed girl-pop squall.
  18. A bewildering but fun bedlam seems to be their default setting, if the first half-dozen or so tracks are anything to go by.
  19. 80
    Sleigh Bells offer a thrilling ride. [Sep 2010, p.104]
  20. Given that Sleigh Bells' sound is so big--and undeniably exciting-- songwriting falls lower on the band's list of priorities than taking all the dramatic moments from everyone's favorite songs and turning them into songs in their own right. That doesn't stop Treats from having a boldness, immediacy, and sense of fun that's missing from too much other music.
  21. Abrasive and addictive, the duo have together discovered a chemistry that not only excites themselves, but almost anyone else who experiences it. [Aug 2010, p.122]
  22. 80
    Monumentally caustic but hypothetically a dance band, Sleigh Bells sculpt infectious double-dutch funk from an unlikely acid bath of distorted drum machines and nasal pigfuck guitars.
  23. Rarely can sheer, brute force from a pair like Miller and Krauss make everything that comes afterward seem so irrelevant.
  24. Treats can be a slavering, snarling beast of an album, but beneath the bravado is a sweet centre.
  25. Sleigh Bells have latched onto an exciting undercurrent in contemporary pop music and put their own distinctive stamp on it. In the process, they've made a hard-hitting album that will positively kill on the dance floor.
  26. It's primal, visceral, addictive stuff – a perfect mix of sweet and evil unlike pretty much everything else out there.
  27. Sleigh Bells have crafted something entirely unique and that in itself is commendable, and the fact that they've done it with such a bold sound is all the more praiseworthy (or even surprising).
  28. Even after wide Internet exposure of their demos, and brief yet clamorous live sets, the album versions of the songs maintain or increase the impact. The tracks don't just rock--they detonate.
  29. Brooklyn duo Sleigh Bells is loud, raucous and unapologetic. Members Alexis Krauss (vocals) and Derek Miller (guitarist/programmer) prove it on debut album Treats.
  30. It's filthy, audibly painful and it makes every wrong decision imaginable in the course of producing an album. It might also be the most delirious, joyful and defining album of 2010.
  31. Addictive as the highs might be, Treats sags noticeably when Miller and Krauss stray too far from their comfort zones.
  32. It'll probably help if you're on mushrooms, but nevertheless this is quite something.
  33. Their debut suggests the White Stripes' White Blood Cells by way of M.I.A.'s Arular, noise that's friendly and cute, primitivism that masks pop smarts and respect for tradition, from New Wave to Sixties rock.
  34. Sleigh Bells tends to emphasize sonic construction over the songs themselves, but it usually works.
  35. It's the Ting Tings amplified past 11, and the two never stray far from the formula.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 178 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 32
  2. Negative: 7 out of 32
  1. Oct 8, 2013
    One of the best indie pop albums I ever heard. It seems almost impossible now that something so heavy and unexpected can be sugary sweet at the same time. It's something that could damage your hearing for good, but Jesus effin Christ, it's so worth it. Full Review »
  2. May 7, 2013
    The Brooklyn noise rock duo's debut pulls off being loud, charming, candy coated and addictive at the same time. It has one of the most original and freshest sounds I've heard in a long time. It's simply fantastic. Full Review »
  3. Jun 3, 2012
    Two years later, this record still feels fresh and essential. Each song is a two to three minute fireworks show. I pity those who are too pretentious to appreciate this band. Full Review »