In Brooklyn's dog-eat-dog music scene, Sleigh Bells has wrestled its way to the top of the pile. Its performances at 2009's CMJ Music Festival left critics and music geeks slack-jawed, and thus was the group anointed 2010's next big thing. The Brooklyn duo has found a way to make its odd marriage of over-the-top, blown-out guitar riffs and pop vocals work (with a little help from M.I.A., who released the band's debut LP, Treats, on her label). Sleigh Bells is what happens when a guitarist from a hardcore band (Derek E. Miller, from Poison the Well) and a former member of a teen pop group (Alexis Krauss, from Rubyblue) say, "Hey, let's form a band that fundamentally shouldn't work, but somehow defies convention and sounds pretty damned interesting." Though the shelf life for buzz bands tends to be short, Sleigh Bells is doing its best to turn a gimmick into a reality of artsy, fresh tunes.