A black-coffee-and-electric-shock-to-the-nuts of an album
Dale Maplethorpe
09:00 9th September 2021

More about:

It’s the time of year where everyone seems to suffer with a slight dip in productivity. The summer is coming to an end, nights are rolling in quicker and winter looms around the corner. You need waking up? No worries. Sleigh Bells have you covered with their new black-coffee-and-electric-shock-to-the-nuts of an album, Texis. 

Texis is the sixth studio album from electronic/rock/noise/batshit duo Sleigh Bells, who have given themselves a reputation as one of the heaviest but simultaneously accessible people making music on the planet. Sure, their sound has always come packed with energy but thanks to relatable lyrics sung in a sweet melody, even those who wouldn’t listen to music in this genre have always found some kind of seat at the table. Texis remains innkeeping with this reputation, delivering heavy bangers with sweet-sounding (albeit sometimes not sweet in content) lyrics. 

The duo has mastered their blend of noise, electronic music and heavy rock in a way that comes together to make a creative cocktail of carnivorous, concussion-causing chaos. As soon as you settle into the album, opening track 'SWEET75' hits you with punchy electronic bass, a catchy chorus, double kick drum fills and distorted guitars, telling the listener to sit down and at least try to make themselves comfortable. 

The same continues for a while in the album as a combination of metal and glitch pop bring us tracks such as 'An Acre Lost', 'I’m Not Down' and 'Locust Laced'. It’s really easy to appreciate the energy in these tracks as they sound upbeat and happy enough but also aggressive enough to be reminiscent of the song 'Mickey' if it was written by Merzbow and Metallica. That being said, it gets old and repetitive. 

The duo are clearly trying to accomplish an atmosphere with this album as opposed to a separate array of songs for people to dip in and out of. This is a formula that can absolutely work, for example in the triumph that was Lingua Ignota’s recent LP Sinner Get Ready, but what Sleigh Bells lack is an overriding narrative or any kind of alteration in emotion that keeps the listener engaged. 

It’s not until you get to the tracks such as 'Knowing' and 'True Seekers' that you are given some relief from the set formula of madness laced on top of chaos and the result of that, rather than being a nice breather, is actually so much of a breather that it’s almost dull. 

The lyrics on this album are derivative as well. Lines such as, “nobody cares when a line gets crossed, nobody cares if a life gets lost,” sound like the kind of thing an emo would scribble onto their pencil case. With Texis you have what you would most likely want from a Sleigh Bells album, which is a heavy composition of glitching, noise and distorted guitars. Whilst that is served up on a platter, there is far too much to enjoy the meal all the way through. The LP seems to lack in any kind of variation or emotional change to keep the listener thoroughly engaged all the way through. It is a lot of fun to have a mosh in your kitchen to, but it doesn’t serve much more of a purpose than that.

Texis arrives 10 September via Lucky Number.

Issue Two of the Gigwise Print magazine is on sale now! Buy it here.

More about:

Photo: Press