11 Songs, 36 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The bloodied white Keds on the cover of Sleigh Bells' second album say a lot. They belong to Alexis Krauss, whose waifish vocals battle (and often conquer!) the bludgeoning beats and metal-edged guitar of her musical partner, Derek Miller. Light vs. dark, good vs. bad, and all that. It's Miller's blood—from head injury during a live show—splattered on Krauss' innocent white Keds. After releasing the beast that was 2010's Treats, the stakes were high for this intriguing hybrid, so why not use smart semiotics to lure in curious browsers? Reign of Terror proves there's more to the duo than its impressive debut, with Miller's guitar leading the way and the needle only wavering into the red instead of trying to claw its way out of it. The glammy stomping and swaggering on tunes like "Crush" and "Born to Lose," the melancholic sweetness on songs like "End of the Line," and the faux twee-ness that lights up songs like "Comeback Kid" are all put to work texturizing. Nods to traditional metal bands like Judas Priest and AC/DC are the shiny, spiky cherry on top. A shredding good time.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The bloodied white Keds on the cover of Sleigh Bells' second album say a lot. They belong to Alexis Krauss, whose waifish vocals battle (and often conquer!) the bludgeoning beats and metal-edged guitar of her musical partner, Derek Miller. Light vs. dark, good vs. bad, and all that. It's Miller's blood—from head injury during a live show—splattered on Krauss' innocent white Keds. After releasing the beast that was 2010's Treats, the stakes were high for this intriguing hybrid, so why not use smart semiotics to lure in curious browsers? Reign of Terror proves there's more to the duo than its impressive debut, with Miller's guitar leading the way and the needle only wavering into the red instead of trying to claw its way out of it. The glammy stomping and swaggering on tunes like "Crush" and "Born to Lose," the melancholic sweetness on songs like "End of the Line," and the faux twee-ness that lights up songs like "Comeback Kid" are all put to work texturizing. Nods to traditional metal bands like Judas Priest and AC/DC are the shiny, spiky cherry on top. A shredding good time.

TITLE TIME
2:20
3:53
3:19
3:38
2:43
3:00
3:03
3:21
4:30
3:40
2:57

About Sleigh Bells

Combining sugary hooks with a loud, rhythmic crunch, Sleigh Bells' experimental pop is the project of songwriter/producer Derek Miller and vocalist Alexis Krauss. The musicians formed the group in New York in 2008, where Miller (a Florida native and onetime member of hardcore act Poison the Well) had relocated in the hopes of starting a new group. He found his ideal partner in Krauss, a former vocalist for the teenaged girl group Rubyblue, and the two began creating a batch of demos. The duo signed to M.I.A.'s boutique label N.E.E.T. and released its debut album, Treats, to critical acclaim in 2010. The band spent much of 2011 touring but found time to record, with Miller writing songs inspired by personal tragedy and playing a particularly metallic-sounding Jackson USA Soloist. The results, Reign of Terror, were released early in 2012 and peaked at number 12 on the Billboard 200. During another year of heavy touring, the duo found time to lay down tracks for its third record, Bitter Rivals, which arrived in October 2013. After two years of relative quiet, Sleigh Bells returned in 2015 with "Champions of Unrestricted Beauty," a teaser for their fourth album that displayed a more straightforward pop sound than some of their previous music. In 2016, the duo sued Demi Lovato, her producers, and UMG Recordings for allegedly sampling the Treats songs "Infinity Guitars" and "Riot Rhythm" without permission on the 2015 track "Stars." That November saw the release of their fourth album, Jessica Rabbit, which featured collaborations with Dr. Dre producer Mike Elizondo. Sleigh Bells returned a year later with the mini-album Kid Kruschev, which was sparked by Krauss' move to upstate New York as well as the turbulent political climate of the late 2010s. ~ Andrew Leahey

  • ORIGIN
    Brooklyn, NY
  • FORMED
    2008

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