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Reign of Terror

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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.

Customer Reviews

Sleigh Bells slay the sophmore slump theory.

This is incredible. A lot of people won't like this. They're not bad people, they just don't understand. Buy this now.

Painfully pleasant!

Sleigh Bells never fails to amaze me! This album was inspired by David Miller's recent family trauma, and although it does have dark undertones, it outshines Treats. Although Treats was a solid debut, with great catchy little tunes, all of the vocals sounded similar on each track. Reign of Terror shows much more thoughtful songwriting and songs with much more depth. This album also shows that Sleigh Bells isn't just one of those little indie groups that gets forgotten in two months. Reign of Terror shows that Sleigh Bells is here to stay!

Good, but nothing too special.

After an album as KILLER as Treats, I guess I should have expected to be disappointed. But the first two singles were great, so I got my hopes up a little too high.

The producing's still solid, although they turned the distortion down substantially. I just can't stand some of the songwriting. Songs like You Lost Me sound like a bad Enya live recording. The two singles (Born To Lose, Comeback Kid) are still my favorites from the album, and I also like Crush and Demons.

Just nothing special really. I expected and hoped for so much better from these guys.


Formed: 2008 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Songwriter/producer Derek Miller and vocalist Alexis Krauss comprise Sleigh Bells, an experimental pop duo that began earning its first fans after a breakout performance at the 2009 CMJ Festival. The musicians formed the group in New York, where Miller (a Florida native and onetime member of hardcore act Poison the Well) had relocated in the hopes of starting a new project. He found his ideal partner in Krauss, a former vocalist for the teenaged girl group Rubyblue, and the two began creating a batch...
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Reign of Terror, Sleigh Bells
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Customer Ratings