Artist: Sleigh Bells
Album: Reign of Terror
Those who found Sleigh Bells’ 2010 Treats a little too abrasive are sure to feel more comfortable with Reign of Terror. On their newest album, Sleigh Bells have lowered the volume several notches and have imbued their songs with a certain pop sensibility that was largely absent from their debut. The stadium-sized chaos of intro “True Shred Guitar,” gives way to “Born to Lose,” a tight single which features 80’s-style electronic drums in its opening minute. All of the elements that made their debut album great are present here, but it’s since been deliciously refined; “Crush” and “Demons” are the hardcore pop songs that Sleigh Bells failed to produce.
Like it’s predecessor, Reign of Terror is a huge sounding album; crashing guitars and over-sized drums lead the way. Sleigh Bells was an album so loud that it naturally distorted – it was one of my favorite aspects of it – but things are more controlled here. Sleigh Bells have not dumbed-down their sound; they’ve gained more control over it. While I miss the overall chaos of their debut, Reign of Terror finds the band writing tighter, more concise songs that simply work.