Sleigh Bells – Kid Kruschev
Sleigh Bells strike a delicate balance on Kid Kruschev, branching into new creative waters whilst staying true to their musical formula
Kid Kruschev's lead single, And Saints, provides something of a false premise. Giving the impression Sleigh Bells have changed their stripes, the airy vocals and measured instrumentals fail to crescendo into the harsh guitar riffs we've come to expect. However, an exploration of what else the album has to offer suggests quite the opposite.
Opener Blue Trash Mattress Fire delivers the amped-up, glam-rock vibes with which Sleigh Bells have become synonymous. It's true that the album strikes a more level note though, with the slamming drums swapped out for low-key synths and a sprinkling of piano. Despite taking a shift towards a more mature sound, they remain open to experimentation and humour, particularly evident on the playful lyrics of Favourite Transgressions, so there's no need to despair for the loss of Sleigh Bells’ anarchic attitude.
Kid Kruschev comes just a year after Jessica Rabbit and marks a singular, decisive change of direction. Despite retaining many of the fundamental components of Sleigh Bells’ sound, there's a shift of intensity and a new meditative quality. Florida Thunderstorm, for example, is more reflective and melancholic than what we've seen from Sleigh Bells before. Kid Kruschev sees Sleigh Bells strike a delicate balance, branching into new creative waters whilst staying true to the musical formula which first garnered them attention.
Listen to: Blue Trash Mattress Fire, Favourite Transgressions, Rainmaker