Pop & Hiss

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Coachella, beyond the main stage: Sleigh Bells can ring a racket

March 31, 2010 |  1:35 pm
COACHELLA COUNTDOWN: In the days leading up to the three-day Indio fest that begins April 16, Pop & Hiss gives you the reasons to arrive before the headliners.

Who: Sleigh Bells

From: Brooklyn

Reason to care: Signed to M.I.A.'s label N.E.E.T., the Sleigh Bells are a sure bet for blog buzz and an ensuing insta-backlash. A bevy of press and some fashion commercials seem a sure thing, but don't hold any of that against the duo of Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss. The pair are on the fast track to unite Coachella's dance-tent ravers and main-stage VIPs, mixing Beastie Boys craziness, AC/DC posturing and a retro, Ting Tings strut. Low-fi hip-hop grooves, fist-in-the-air metal riffs and an in-your-face bluntness make for a band that can be abrasive, at least until Krauss seduces you with a Funkadelic-nodding rap in "Ring Ring." 

Listen: The duo's "Crown on the Ground," posted initially on Stereogum, is wartime dance, packed with air-raid guitar sirens and fence-rattling bass explosions. It's choppy, hectic and a bit of a mess, but Krauss and Miller still manage to turn it into a shout-along anthem. If the recession drags us down, count on the Sleigh Bells to bring the party favors.

Sleigh Bells - Crown on the Ground

Fun fact ... If Miller's name looks familiar, that's because he was in hard-core metal act Poison the Well. 

Next: The act's debut, "Treats," is out May 11.

-- Todd Martens

Photo: Sleigh Bells. Credit: Aaron Richter