When music is described as ‘warped pop’ or ‘alt-pop’ or anything that implies that what I’m about to listen to is some kind of pop music that’s somehow been twisted into a new shape, I get suspicious. Almost every review I’ve read about Deerhunter insists that they’re some kind of pop band, but it’s just not true. Indie or alternative music can possess melody and not become pop music.

So when I finally got round to listening to Sleigh Bells and immediately saw that they’ve been described as ‘noise pop’, the familiar old mistrust came bubbling back up again. How wrong I was. Their album Treats is two things throughout – noisy and poppy. The best example is ‘Crown On The Ground’, a song that sounds like the screaming bastard sister of Gwen Stefani’s (already quite odd) ‘Hollaback Girl’ – all repeated refrains and overbearing drumbeat. This truly is warped pop; catchy, easy to remember songs made absolutely fucking terrifying – the whole album is the sound of a migraine, in a good way.

Sleigh Bells – Crown On The Ground (YSI)
Gwen Stefani – Hollaback Girl (YSI)

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