Bringing the noise in 2010, Sleigh Bells released their debut Treats which was generally well received by the cool kids. Fuzzed up guitars from Derek Miller, cheerleader vocals from Alexis Krauss and drums like machine guns – the first album hit the mark more often than not. The single “Rill Rill” still remains very high on TLA’s iPod most played playlist.
Coming from the hipster enclave of Brooklyn, it would have been very easy for Sleigh Bells to have released one good album, one terrible one then quietly slipped into oblivion. Instead, they avoid the sophomore jinx with Reign of Terror featuring songs titles that read straight out of a hair metal band’s greatest hits catalogue – “Born to Lose”, “Road to Hell”, “D.O.A”, etc.
ROT starts off right where Treats left off, with “True Shred Guitar” and never has a title been more apt. Much guitar riffing while Alexis shout outs the title. The aforementioned “Born to Lose” as well as “Crush” are more of the same. The album really gets going with “End of the Line” which just may end up being one of the tracks of the year. Slower than the normal clattering Sleigh Bells track, an insistent high-hat propels the song forward with the lyrics being the standout – “Can you hear me, can you see me? Well this is the end of the line so goodbye” In amongst the fuzz, later tracks like “Road to Hell” and “You Lost Me” continue this ‘softer’ sound.
While Reign of Terror follows the template laid down by Treats, Sleigh Bells are able to expand their sound and continue to move forward. ROT may not win many new fans but those that tag along with SB will be duly rewarded with a slightly flawed but very worthy follow-up.
Sleigh Bells – End of the Line