It Takes Two: Demonstrative Duos

MTV blasted a Sleigh Bells show across various screens last night. The Brooklyn duo has a crazed way of balancing bombast with girl group vocals, an earthshaking approach that makes Treats (Mom & Pop) a key 2010 record. Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss met in a restaurant (he a waiter, she with mom) and just a few months later they had seduced outlets as far-flung as Stereogum and ABC News. Life changes fast when M.I.A. tells you your organized chaos is way cool and invites you onto her label. These days the Bells are the apotheosis of indie adoration, though naysayers, specifically one dude on YouTube, ain’t exactly wrong to say that they make “hardcore cheerleader songs.” But the band has figured out that supersizing the commonplace is one way of bringing zest into your life. Amazing how much two people can get done with Howitzer synth beats and candy-metal guitar riffs (here’s a new track by them where they’re “killing all the Capulets”). Of course, Derek and Alexis ain’t the first duo to make a much larger-sounding statement. Here’s a scad of other pairings that drill into your brain in a variety of ways.


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