Reporting Scott T. Sterling
After rumors swirled last week that noise-rock duo Sleigh Bells were set to release a new song on September 3, the band thrilled fans by debuting “Bitter Rivals” almost 20 minutes early in the waning moments of Labor Day (September 2), followed by a slew of U.S. tour dates, including a New York stop with controversial Detroit rapper Danny Brown (see the complete list of dates below).
Sleigh Bells dropped the title track to their third full-length album (due for release on October 8 via Mom + Pop Music) on the band’s new website, iTunes and YouTube, where they revealed the song’s official music video (see above).
The clip features lead singer Alexis Krauss rocking out in a personalized leopard-print boxer’s robe and with a crew of lookalike back-up dancers sporting her signature haircut in a rainbow of different colors.
Guitarist Derek Miller looks to be ready for this year’s college football season, wearing jersey of his beloved Louisiana State University Tigers and playing a guitar tricked out in the school’s team colors of purple and gold.
“Bitter Rivals” sounds much like what listeners have come to expect from Sleigh Bells, loaded with heavy guitars, crushing horn blasts and Krauss alternating between heavily distorted rap-like vocals during the verse and singing sweetly in the chorus.
This aggressive first single is in stark contrast to what Miller said fans should anticipate from the Bitter Rivals full-length during an interview with KROQ (a CBS station) last September, when he was still recovering from a broken arm sustained while carving up a skate-park in Tequesta, Florida.
“It’s a lot less heavy. It’s not as dense,” Miller said at the time regarding the new album, claiming inspiration from such current beat-makers as AraabMuzik–who Sleigh Bells toured with last year–and Clams Casino.
“Reign of Terror was very much a guitar record,” Miller added, referencing the band’s second album from 2012. “I was listening to a lot of Slayer and (Def) Leppard at the time. I was kind of sick of that sound anyway, since all I’ve been doing since February is playing those songs live. Actually, breaking my arm couldn’t have happened at a better time. I wasn’t really planning on playing much guitar anyway. The music is still energetic, it’s just less of a hard rock record.”
Fans will see if that is indeed the case when Bitter Rivals arrives on October 8.
The Doldrums will open a majority of the band’s fall tour dates, which also includes a stop at San Francisco’s Treasure Island Music Festival on October 20.
Sleigh Bells Fall 2013 Tour Dates
10/04 Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls
10/10 Vancouver, British Columbia @ Commodore
10/11 Portland, OR @ Roseland
10/12 Seattle, WA @ Showbox at Market
10/15 Santa Ana, CA @ Observatory
10/18 Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey
10/20 San Francisco, CA @ Treasure Island Music Festival
10/22 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Grand
10/23 Denver, CO @ Bluebird
10/25 Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
10/26 Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
10/27 Austin, TX @ Stubb’s
10/29 Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage
10/30 Jacksonville, FL @ Freebird Live
11/01 St. Petesburg, FL @ State Theatre
11/02 Fort Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room
11/04 Orlando, FL @ Firestone
11/05 Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre
11/06 Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre
11/08 Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works
11/09 Columbus, OH @ Newport
11/10 Chicago, IL @ Metro
11/12 Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews
11/13 Toronto, Ontario @ Phoenix
11/14 Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
11/16 Boston, MA @ Royale
11/17 Albany, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall
11/19 Washington, DC @ Upstate Concert Hall
11/20 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
11/22 New York, NY @ Terminal 5 (w/Danny Brown)