Reviews in 200 Words

“Reign of Terror,” Sleigh Bells

In Album, podcast on February 24, 2012 at 6:08 am

It begins in the most appropriate place:  the surge of an arena-sized crowd, primed and ready for the show. Anticipation peaks as the lights drop. The band dives headfirst into ten sublime tracks of stomping, pulsating metal-fused anthems. But this isn’t a sweaty, muscle-shirt-meathead-four-piece. This isn’t Slayer, or Ratt, or Def Leppard. This is Sleigh Bells: a hipster chic boy-girl duo with confidence aplenty and seemingly nothing to prove. They know their job. Their job is to rock. And rock they do, with triplet echo guitars.

This all could have gone so badly: from their 2009 debut “Treats” all the way up to the early buzz and Marianas Trench pressure of this follow up. But like a pyrotechnic explosion at the edge of the stage “Reign of Terror” delivers on every fist-pumping promise made by its predecessor. If “Treats” felt fresh and bold, this one is bewildering and intoxicating. For every buzzsaw guitar riff and stadium-sized hook (“Comeback Kid”) there are delicate, beguiling waves of gentle exuberance (“You Lost Me”). Even up in the nosebleeds we’re swooning. And pumping our fists, indulging in the big sounds and the big hooks. This reign of terror is frighteningly fantastic.

Click here to subscribe to the official Beat Jab podcast via iTunes.

Click here for a Spotify playlist of Sleigh Bells’ “Reign of Terror.”

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