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Sleigh Bells Thrash It Out on ‘Kimmel’

Duo expands to include horn section and backing vocalists

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Sleigh Bells expanded the bombast of their music by adding a bunch more people onstage last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Core duo Alexis Krauss and Derek E. Miller performed with a trio of horn players, three other backup singers and a live drummer who anchored a pair of songs from Sleigh Bells’ new album Bitter Rivals.

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Krauss sang breathy wordless vocals to start “Bitter Rivals” while Miller ground out gnashing guitar lines on a tiger-striped guitar, the horns adding punctuation over a massive beat. Miller’s orange-and-black guitar was a perfect stylistic complement to the next song, “Tiger Kit.” Krauss stepped around the stage, hair flying when she headbanged between lyrics, and the horn section added punchy lines on the outro.

Bitter Rivals is Sleigh Bells’ third album, and the follow-up to last year’s Reign of Terror, which reflects the duo’s desire to push forward creatively, they recently told Rolling Stone. “Even though our music is bombastic and tough and abrasive, this record is super positive,” Krauss said. “I can’t tell you how excited I am to get onstage and blast these songs, like ‘Bitter Rivals’ or ‘Tiger Kit’ or ‘Young Legends,’ that just feel so conducive to that celebratory experience that our live shows are.”


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