Music Review: On Jessica Rabbit, Sleigh Bells pushes it to—and then past—the limit

Even as Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss have moved away from and fudged with the blown-out, hook-driven simplicity of their much-hyped 2010 debut full-length, Treats, they’ve mostly kept on keepin‘ on, tipping a hat to what made Sleigh Bells, well, Sleigh Bells. The foolproof template: Miller programs super beats to hurdle towers of beefed-up hair-metal guitar while Krauss’ vocals twirl and cut through the racket like a ballerina crossing the Santa Monica Freeway. You can refer to it as “noise pop” or “shred pop” or whatever—it’s mostly just loud and fun as hell. With the new Jessica Rabbit, however, the confetti cannons that were omnipresent up to and through 2013’s Bitter Rivals have been locked away in exchange for complicated mood lighting that ultimately feels less substantive.

Miller and Krauss get caught up in their own ambitions on Jessica Rabbit. The album’s opener and its …

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