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April 2, 2012 | by  | in Arts Music | [ssba]

Review – Sleigh Bells: Reign of Terror

Full disclosure: I will start with saying that I am a big fan of Sleigh Bells’ first album, so I went into Reign of Terror with high expectations. Audio-wise, the whole album is a fuckload more ‘glossy’. Tracks sound tighter and audio quality is exceptional.

My only complaint is, with this glossy sound, Sleigh Bells have lost some of their grunge-rock/pop vibe. Shitty reverb and echo vocals have been replaced by top of the line harmonies and perfect backing vocals; these elements made me miss the the heavy reverb and distortion exhibiting in tracks from their first album like ‘Crown on the Ground’. Those were tracks that, when played through a stereo system in close vicinity, made you feel as though you were on a massage chair.

Reign of Terror is still near-perfect, though. First single ‘Comeback Kid’, with its double-kick action and heavy guitar riffs in the chorus, made me want to jump around the room and fuck things up. Other highlights include ‘Born to Lose’, an impressive track full of Sleigh Bells’ lyrical genius, and deploying a clever sample of lead singer Alexis Krauss’s voice alongside the ever-present AC/DC riffs and late 80’s harmonic guitar entries; and ‘True Shred Guitar’, a cut more like a heavy guitar riff tribute than its poppy album counterparts, a nice change from the very clean aesthetic of those tracks.

Overall, Reign of Terror is a pretty magnificent album that lives up to the legacy of the band’s first album, Treats, without a doubt. Reign of Terror left me feeling like I didn’t have fucking ears, while still being electronic enough to dance to. Sleigh Bells, I love you.


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