Sleigh Bells rock, are you listening? It’d be nearly impossible not to. The duo from Brooklyn, N.Y. have been making records and turning their dials to 11 since 2008 and show no signs of slowing down. Led by vocalist Alexis Krauss and axe-man Derek Miller, Sleigh Bells blend pop, rock, metal and electronic music seamlessly from one album to the next. Get caught up on seven years of headbanging and harmonies with the top 10 Sleigh Bells songs.
Bonus: "Hyper Dark"
Kicking things off is “Hyper Dark” off Sleigh Bells’ latest release, Jessica Rabbit. The thing to take note of in this dream-like track is the part echoes play. Sleigh Bells manage to create a hyper dark reality, that is to say, they make one feel like they are in an energetic alternate dimension. “I think we have a problem.”
10. "A/B Machines"
Perennial live set-closer “A/B Machines” brings the big room anthem vibes fast and hard. There is simply so much power in this song that it is difficult to tell whether the extensive distortion heard throughout the song has been manufactured or is the result of speakers being pushed to their limit. It may be better not to know.
9. "Young Legends"
“Young Legends” is the first song on the countdown that features Sleigh Bells' playful sound. When they’re not blaring power chords, the band can usually be heard with a more twangy type of guitar sound giving way to pop vocals perfect for sing-a-longs. Young legends may die, but this song might live forever!
Jessica Rabbit undoubtedly features the band's most intricate use of drum machines, more so than any of Sleigh Bells’ previous works. “Crucible” showcases this with a sort of battle between the drums and, well, any other sound that infiltrates the track. The drums dominate this battle. It’s no coincidence, then, when one lyric points out, “And the heart of the hurricane in my head never tires” because this song feels like a hurricane.
7. "Bitter Rivals"
Sleigh Bells have always rallied around the idea and imagery of youth sports and collectivism. Whether it is the cover of their debut album, Treats, which offers a disturbing look at a group of cheerleaders, or the video for “Bitter Rivals,” where Miller dawns an LSU Tigers jersey, Sleigh Bells and sports can be one in the same.
Another stand out from Jessica Rabbit, “Lightning” takes listeners on a roller coaster ride by splitting its chorus into two parts; first drawing them in with a nursery rhyme piano riff and quickly followed by their signature electronic drum double kick. As with most Sleigh Bells songs, quick changes leave one wondering if they should be having the feels or banging their head. In the end, that’s the fun of it all.
The fourth and last entry on this list from Jessica Rabbit may be a slightly overlooked track from the album. Presenting a more polished sound rarely heard from the band, “Stand You” offers old school rock riffs and mainstream vocals that would be welcome on top 40 radio any day of the week.
4. "Comeback Kid"
The lone single from Reign of Terror, “Comeback Kid” stays true to the grunge/metal sound that brought Sleigh Bells to prominence. Riddled with double bass drum and extra distortion, this song’s appeal comes from the band’s ability to simultaneously blow eardrums out while also allowing fans to sing the song word for word.
The final three tracks on this countdown all come from Sleigh Bells' debut breakthrough album, Treats. A mixture of a multitude of sounds including electronic, grunge, metal and hard rock, Treats as a whole delivered a truly unique sound at the time of its release. “Kids” offers a slight variation from this signature sound with a song to bop to from beginning to end. Yes, that's right, bop.
2. "Tell ‘Em"
There’s a headbanging move for those with long hair. It’s the one where the head spins either clockwise or counter-clockwise in a circle causing the hair to whip. There may not be a better song from Sleigh Bells to achieve this move with than “Tell ‘Em.” Once again led by an electronic double bass drum, this lead track from Treats is simple yet effective, that is, if the goal is to get whiplash.
1. "Infinity Guitars"
There is something so unbelievably catchy about the simplistic verse “Ah ah ahh” which is ever present in “Infinity Guitars.” The song that kick-started Sleigh Bells comes in at the top of this list because of one simple fact: it rocks! When one thinks of Sleigh Bells, they may consider a multitude of definitions to express what this band sounds like. Put on “Infinity Guitars” and that is all that may need to be said.