Treats (Mom & Pop Records)
There’s nothing particularly complicated about Sleigh Bells’ abrasive jams, but that doesn’t mean you won’t spend a summer’s worth of parties wishing you’d thought of it first. The elements of their sound are as disparate as they are universal—hard-rock power chords, sing-songy cheerleader chants, synth-horn bleats, and huge beats ranging from Miami booty bass to handclap electro—but the end result seems natural, and, more importantly, new. Their debut album Treats delivers handily on all the promises made by the Brooklyn duo’s widely circulated demos while defying concerns that increased production value would diminish the tracks’ overdriven charm. Indeed, those songs make up more than half of Treats’ running time, and though the extent of the upgrade varies (the rolling hip-hop of “Kids” is given a hi-def makeover, while headbangingly delicious highlight “Crown on the Ground” seems only to have been lightly remastered) there isn’t one of them that falls short of the original demo. If there’s a real flaw to the album, in fact, it’s that the newer songs—with the exception of well-chosen opener “Tell ’Em”—lack the demos’ giddy ingenuity, which may not bode well for Sleigh Bells’ continued output. But that won’t keep “Infinity Guitars” and “A/B Machines” from wrecking PAs throughout the summer of 2010.