Sleigh Bells excite listeners with newly released album

It has been less than two years since their 2012 sophomore album but Sleigh Bells-a New York based duo consisting of ex-Poison the Well guitarist Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss-are back with their third album Bitter Rivals. It is an admittedly shallow but undoubtedly energetic third turn out of the gate.

Inhabiting a sound that could be described as jam-punk, there is not much subtlety in their sound but it is electric and perfect for those dance beat enthusiasts.

It is a very short album, with nearly every song clocking in under three minutes and with only ten tracks. The songs are like quick bursts of energy that quickly die down only to allow another to takes its place. The sound is more pop inspired than their debut album, but lacks the dream-like quality of their second album Reign of Terror.

It seems as if the duo tried to compromise on sounds that would raise their popularity but also allow a more diverse group of listeners to become fans but only halfway managed success. Songs such as “24”, “Love Sick” and “Sugarcane” manage to bridge their polarizing sounds and make for instant multiple listen songs-they’re catchy, upbeat and still maintain some of the atmospheric sounds that the band’s previous albums consisted of.

Sleigh Bells’ new album Bitter Rivals

However songs such as their title track “Bitter Rivals” and the chant, techno heavy “Minnie” reinforce the aggressive nature of their sound without the genuine enthusiasm and “fun” quality that some of their best songs have managed to deliver in the past.

The album is different but simultaneously all too familiar to their previous outings. There is nothing new to digest, just some tweaking to what the band knows to have worked.

The main issue with the album is how instantly forgettable it is. While even some duds manage to have one or two tracks that you find yourself humming hours after listening (such as Panic! At the Disco and Miley Cyrus’s new albums) I can not find it in me to remember even a line of Sleigh Bells’ new album.

Every song is constructed well, there is no obvious fault in the song writing, but there is nothing about it that will make people talk a year from now.

Vocals obviously are not the focal, or strong point of the duo with a heavy reliance on the instrumentals to help carry their edge. Robyn and Crystal Castles are musical acts that have demonstrated how electro-funk and pop can mix and while Bitter Rivals almost achieves that same status they will have to work a little hard to be considered in the same vein as some of the greats.

Sleigh Bells’ fall tour began Oct. 4 in Pittsburgh, Penn.