Sleigh Bells – Liquid Room, Edinburgh, Wed 22 Aug 2012
Alexis Krauss is pulling out all the stops tonight. She’s headbanging, she’s screaming, she’s thrusting, she’s sharing mic duties with the crowd, she’s IN the crowd. She might not have the unhinged ferocity of Crystal Castles’ Alice Glass, but she comes pretty damn close.
And she has to be, because guitarist Derek Edward Miller is somewhat of a nonentity on stage this evening – sometimes literally. He and Sleigh Bells’ touring guitarist Jason Boyer retreat to the wings during ‘Run the Heart’ and ‘Kids’, leaving Krauss on her own, karaoke style. It’s poor stagecraft, and draws attention to the need for a backing track to supply the drums even when they return.
Thankfully, Krauss holds it together, projecting unfailing rockstar charisma despite lukewarm audience response to new material from heavy-going second album Reign of Terror (the poppier ‘Comeback Kid’ a welcome exception). Sleigh Bells would do well to move back in that direction for their already-in-development third album – and maybe recruit a drummer for the next tour.