Review Summary: A hell of a drug
Sleigh Bells' debut album Treats
was a shot fired across the bow of the indie-verse all the way from left field. At a time when even the noisiest of faux-art rawk innovators, such as Tune-Yards, still tried to walk the line between dreamy sonicscapes and bullsh
it for the sake of bulls
hit, the duo of Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss wowed with an attack straight to the throat. Treats
was unabashedly dirty, obnoxiously fu
cking loud, and noisy instead of “noisy”. Even its slow jam “Rill Rill”, with its cleverly used Funkadelic loop, sounded as though it was red lining the mixing board. And you know what, it worked. All of it. While a couple of the tracks were clearly not the best use of the CD space, Treats
was the closest recreation and encapsulation of a band's live show that wasn't actually a live album in years.
So now that they've had the time to not only work out the kinks, but also blow up from seemingly nowhere, how is Sleigh Bells 2.0? It's everything that you would expect it to be after hearing their debut. It's still loud, mixed with the intent to bludgeon your car speakers with its sleazy, ultra trebley power chords and chopped 808s, but at the same time it is slightly more refined in its approach. Alexis' light and airy vocals are brought out to their studio best through being layered in every which direction. This, as well as by being mixed with more than a fair share of reverb and placed behind Derek's chop shop clusterfu
ck club soundtrack, turns her into a siren whose pleasant vocal chords act as a guiding light through all the white lines and empty tall-cans of budget drunk beer. Unlike Treats
though, there is not one weak track among the bunch here on Reign of Terror
, having learned from their only mistake on Treats
of on occasion pumping up the abrasiveness with some too simple and repetitive of melodies.
To put it simply where Treats
was the party soundtrack, Reign of Terror
is the entire party – from the first sip to the first hit, from the rising high to the crushing comedown, to trying to piece together your night of questionable decisions through the haze of waking up on the living room floor of an apartment that you just can't seem to remember having ever been in before knowing all the while that you had a little too much fun.