The Mark of Excellence

Sleigh Bells

Reign of Terror

> > Feb 22 2012

Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror
By Stephen CarlickOn the list of things nobody said about the first Sleigh Bells album: "Yeah, but it could be louder"; "Singer Alexis Krauss could be a little more confident"; "There's something missing here." My point is that the 2010 music world believed Sleigh Bells had very little room to improve, and at the time, we all seemed right. Then the Brooklyn, NY duo went and recorded Reign of Terror. The sophomore full-length is louder despite its phenomenal production values ― guitarist Derek Miller has expanded his guitar repertoire to include arpeggios and solos amongst his stomping riffs ― and is characterized by maturity and growth. Krauss, while still fascinated by yell-sung pseudo-rapping, is exploring her singing voice more than ever ― Reign of Terror is concerned with melody in a way Treats never was, especially on tracks like the lilting "Leader of the Pack" or the almost early Weezer melodies of "Born to Lose" and "Road To Hell." Reign of Terror builds on the success of Treats without breaking from it, establishing Krauss and Miller as masters of their craft. Nobody said there was something missing on Sleigh Bells' first record, but apparently, there was, but only Krauss and Miller knew it.
(Mom + Pop)
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There was something missing: quality.
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Way better than the first record. More than a few of notches up the scale. It sounds like a similar thing to what happened between MGMT's first and second album; it's not that the first one was bad, but the second one is much closer to their potential, and more than most people (myself included) thought they had in them. There's still a dog or two in the bunch (Comeback Kid is just awful), but there are 4 or 5 great songs here that might actually last past the summer. I am pleasantly surprised.
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geigh balls
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