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Album Review
Bitter Rivals

Bitter Rivals
by Sleigh Bells

Liberator Music

Review Date
25th October 2013
Reviewed by
Danielle Street

The third album from Sleigh Bells gets rolling in the same vein as their previous releases - uncompromisingly loud. The opening title-track 'Bitter Rivals' exemplifies everything that saw the Brookyn-based duo shoot to noise-pop stardom: crunchy guitars and hectic digital drums from Derek Miller paired with Alexis Krauss' saccharine vocals.

However, as the album plays on it's obvious Krauss' voice should be sprinkled lightly. Her strengths lie in cheerleader-eqsue chanting alternating with dreamy hooks, used sparingly. And the singer previously has taken a backseat while Miller steers the sound, but Bitter Rivals has Krauss riding shotgun. The result is a record that quickly slides into a series of sugar-drenched noise ballads that lean on uncharismatic songwriting. Lyrics like "You don't get me twice, I'll put your heart on ice" fall way flat, and having a sweet voice does little to prop them up.

The closing track, 'Love Sick' is the nail in the coffin for the album, and it's a relief when the hammering is over. It's understandable the songstress is trying to play a larger role in the band that has taken over her life for the last few years. But to borrow her line: "Just because you can doesn't mean you should".


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