Devin Townsend Project

Like my fellow writers on the Shebash, I too have been sucked into the inescapable whirlpool of catchiness created by noise-pop duo Sleigh Bells. The combination of insanely heavy beats, buzzsaw guitar licks, and massive hooks found on their debut album Treats strongly remind me of a group that has recently approached pop music through a similar lens, the Devin Townsend Project.

The band, led by eccentric metal genius Devin Townsend (in case you couldn't guess), had a huge year in 2009 with the release of both Ki and Addicted, my favorite album of the year. On Addicted, Townsend combines his trademark wall-of-sound heavy metal riffing with poppy hooks and melodies with great success.

"Bend it Like Bender!" is one of the standout tracks from Addicted (and it boasts the highest play count in my iTunes at the moment). The song starts off typically enough with simple, huge power chords behind Townsend's half-screamed vocals. However, the chorus changes everything. Anneke van Giersbergen, former singer for The Gathering, infuses almost over-the-top optimism with her vocals as a dance beat refreshingly rubs shoulders with double bass drumming. And don't forget Townsend's tremendous screams at the end of the track. Never has "We love you!" sounded more metal--and catchy.

Devin Townsend Project - "Bend it Like Bender!"

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