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.

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