Sleigh Bells

Sleigh Bells @ 9:30 Club - 2/14/2018

Sleigh Bells @ 9:30 Club - 2/14/2018

If there’s any band that has perfected the aural attack, it’s Sleigh Bells. Starting with their 2010 album Treats, they treated listeners with a sound that the mainstream had not experienced to that point - a mash-up of guitars turned up way past the point of distortion, hip-hop beats, and cheerleader-like vocals from Alexis Krauss. The niche they carved starting with their 2010 debut album Treats is still one that they can lay claim to, including with their most recent release, the 2017 mini-album Kid Kruschev. While it’s easier to discern Krauss’s vocals with their more recent releases, the band hasn’t lost the rage that made their debut album so irresistible and unforgettable. They turned that energetic rage into a spectacle at their sold-out show at 9:30 Club.

LIVE: Hot Chip w/Sleigh Bells (and James Murphy TOO) @ Merriweather Post Pavilion - 7/22/12

Photos by Kevin Hill (

Last Sunday night, Merriweather Post Pavillion pumped out a triple bill that may have caused as much head scratching as it did head bobbing (which, trust us, is a whole hell of a lot). And while we ourselves are not quite sure what to make of this curious trifecta reassembled from a previous tour, We Were There, Man, and here’s what we Do know:

For starters, James Murphy, of the now-defunct LCD Soundsystem, does what he wants. Which apparently includes turning down early Seinfeld writing gigs to found, front, and ultimately bow out of one of the most beloved indie dance bands while still at the top of their game, choosing not to leave the limelight altogether, but to instead go back to spinning records. And yes, he can do that, because he’s James f@$king Murphy, and his smarts, taste, talent, and Rolodex seemingly know no bounds. Well, some bounds, perhaps: While God may be a DJ, Murphy is, alas, still a mere mortal. Crates of vinyl, always a welcomed sight for those who know EDM is nothing new, also come with a flip (read: B) side: Those oldschool heads know a bad mix when they hear one, and might well call you on being more house party than pavilion; stellar music knowledge, connections, and bandroom boredom alone do not a concert-caliber DJ make. Thankfully, Murphy’s second set went much more smoothly than the first, and even if it hadn’t, the truth is, nobody really cared. Still, too good for trainwrecks, uneven levels, and awkward silences, we’ll have to bust out our James Murphy : DJing :: Michael Jordan : Baseball analogy on sheer principle. Sorry, James. Keep being groovy.