With their latest studio album, Sleigh Bells have created a sugar-sweet pop soundtrack to a demolition zone. From the very beginning, it's clear to see that Bitter Rivals is an album to be reckoned with.
For this, their third album, Sleigh Bells have excitingly embraced a much more varied instrumentation, having added a drummer to their live show. The effect is delightfully deafening; Sleigh Bells have a unique talent for turning sounds that if executed differently could be used to torture, into something extremely pleasurable. Bitter Rivals is ferociously catchy, laying saccharine melodies next to pummeling guitar cacophony.
Despite Sleigh Bells' knack for all things loud, one of the records highlights is also one of its gentlest. The delicate ballad "To Hell With You" flaunts Krauss's soft vocals with as little tampering as possible. The sly, sultry lyrics tease sweetly: "I'll go to hell with you/ Here's the proof." Bitter Rivals is Sleigh Bells' most focused record to date, and it's also their poppiest; this album is above all extremely listenable and impressively distinct.