April 24th, 2012 1:00am
If you had never heard Sleigh Bells but read their most fawning press, you might expect them to sound a like Ke$ha’s song with the Flaming Lips – pop girl vocals, ultra-distorted guitar riffs, loads of energy. That’s basically what’s going on here, but not really, because both Ke$ha and Lips go much further out, landing in a place far removed from the hyperactive metal-dance-pop milieu of Sleigh Bells. Ke$ha pushes her pop-sleaze brat aesthetic to the max, while the Lips push the song off on spooky psychedelic tangents, and mess with the tone of their central riff to the point that it barely sounds like music and registers more like a malfunctioning nuclear reactor alarm. I would be lying if I told you I wouldn’t like this better if it was reined in a bit, but I love the brazen quality of this track – it’s violent, hostile music created by people utterly unafraid to be supremely annoying. Obviously, this isn’t totally new ground for the Flaming Lips, but it’s proof that Ke$ha is willing to get very weird. I can’t see her abandoning straight pop in the near future, but this track gives me some idea of what she’d do if given enough creative capital to truly do whatever she wants.