Sleigh Bells' sound is notoriously raucous. Their brand of noise pop is rebellious, eclectic, and simply stands out among the fray. Their new record focusses more into the stories behind the songs than the chaotic soundscapes, though it seems to fall a bit flat. Sleigh Bells' Kid Kruschev is largely uneventful, if not a bit boring.
The chaos of the band's last album Jessica Rabbit, released almost exactly a year ago, didn't quite lend itself to being a storytelling record. It was a record that focussed on the textures mirroring the emotion of ever song, sometimes leading to disorientation. Kid Kruschev is much more restrained and toned down than its predecessor, harkening back to the band's earlier, more ambient work. 'Blue Trash Fire Mattress' introduces the record cooly, its gentle synths eventually leading back into the anthemic cries of the hyper-distorted guitars and the bright vocals as it screams with summertime rebellion.
The immediate excitement slams pop culture, bringing the album to a harsh start. It doesn't lose its steam as it continues, 'Favorite Transgressions' keeping things hyped up with a big, ambitious riff and 'Rainmaker' keeping things punchy. The album does tone things down towards its end as it seemingly becomes more complacent, the ambience of 'Florida Thunderstorm' really allowing atmosphere to form. It's almost folky in its execution, the lyrics faraway and reverberating out into a swampy sunset. 'And Saints' closes the record on a holy note. The end of the record really allows for the band's lyrics to take hold of the pace, but everything before it feels like filler. It's not really significant until the very end. It may be fun, but there's a detachment somewhere along the lines.
Sleigh Bells' Kid Kruschev is largely uneventful as the band searches for that right place between raucous sound and meaningful stories. They achieve both, but not seamlessly which makes the mini-LP feel detached by the end. It may just be a stepping stone to something more effectively composed, but as it stands, it's not the strongest output from Sleigh Bells.
Favorite Track: Favorite Transgressions
Least Favorite Track: Show Me The Door
Rating: 67 / 100
Stream or buy Kid Kruschev on Apple Music: