Sleigh Bells’ debut album Treats was one of the strongest offerings of last year, and in turn a must buy for vinyl aficionados. Unfortunately, the original release of the record did not match the music in terms of its quality. Containing a single multi-colored vinyl and a flimsy printout of the cover art, the product was as ugly as it was spare. From a packaging standpoint, it was one of the biggest disappointments of last year.
Thankfully, the band and their label have remedied the situation with this year’s reissue. The new edition takes the opposite approach of its barebones predecessor – replacing the former’s half-assed presentation with a much more complete and satisfying product. A 180-gram vinyl is now housed in a beautiful gatefold sleeve, and is accompanied by a lyric booklet and download card.
Sleigh Bells’ blending of opposites, such as their combination of harsh guitar work with sugary pop vocals, is what has made them such a unique success. The artwork on display here is a strong visual translation of that aesthetic, featuring design choices such as a pair of unicorns surrounded by pentagrams. This clear sense of identity is most evidenced in the lyric booklet, a clever replication of a teenager’s composition notebook. For those that traded in their compact disks for vinyl a long time ago, the biggest loss in doing so has always been the lack of lyric booklets. That one is included here, particularly considering how uncommon they are, gives the product an even bigger boost in terms of its value.
Verdict: This reissue of Sleigh Bells’ debut is the quintessential version of the album. It deserves a spot in your collection.