Sleigh Bells – Bitter Rivals

Mom + Pop

Gimmicks aren’t supposed to last three albums. Okay maybe they are but we shouldn’t still be paying attention. In 2009 Brooklyn’s Sleigh Bells caught my ear with their demo which featured choppy metal riffs speaker-blowing rhythms and a sugary-sweet vocalist. And then their debut album Treats satisfied my curiosity. However I should have known better than to trust a dude from Poison the Well.

Following up a sophomore album that I hardly even recall Bitter Rivals once again confirms that this duo is nothing more than a one-trick pony — a dead one at that whose corpse is still being flogged. The opening title track confirms any questions as to whether they’ve progressed: they still like choppy metal riffs speaker-blowing rhythms and sugary-sweet vocals.

The album unfolds like any of us could’ve predicted: choppy metal riffs speaker-blowing rhythms and sugary-sweet vocals infecting our aural cavities like a debilitating earache. Before I completely write it off though “Young Legends” is a surprisingly listenable even enjoyable stab at hyper pop/R&B which I’d be willing to hear more of.

Everything has a shelf life a lesson I once learned after buying an album by Green Jellö. Hipster rap-rock is no exception.