Sleigh Bells: Reign of Terror (Mom + Pop) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, January 29th, 2020  

Sleigh Bells

Reign of Terror

Mom + Pop

Feb 21, 2012 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


"Push it! Push it! Push it! True shred guitar!" Sleigh Bells' Alexis Krauss screams in the first track of Reign of Terror, splaying the album's M.O. clear and (oh-so-staggeringly) loud. If 2010's Treats was an experiment in excessive volume, this is their demonstration of excessive force. Reign of Terror packs a visceral wallop, at moments far more bruising than anything on its predecessor.

While the debut soared at its highs, other parts felt like nothing more than sugar and noise, unfilling and short on substance. Here, Sleigh Bells are leaning into their punches, throwing extra weight into the songs, tossing fistfuls of meat into their sonic tenderizer. Derek Miller's guitars possess all the subtleties of a buzzsaw; when not on a speed-metal rush, he's tapping into some sort of inner arena rock subconscious, heard in the Def Leppard crunch that opens "True Shred Guitar," the Angus Young riffage of "Born to Lose," or the flanged-out Eddie Van Halen weirdness in "You Lost Me." Meanwhile, Krauss unloads all the contents of her lungs into each song, whether she's making sinister threats in "Demons" or leading a pounding pep rally march in "Crush." The love songs are here, too: her voice just drips with singsong sweetness in the tender breakup number "End of the Line." Whatever it is they do, they do it with volume, and lots of it; the album was mixed with speaker pulverization in mind. The few flat songsthe gas lets up some in the middleserve as a breather for the listener, and that's OK. This is an album to be taken in one 36-minute shot straight to the cranium, cranked as high as your ears will allow. Anything less than that and you'll miss the point. (www.infinitybells.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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