Artist: Sleigh Bells
Title: “Reign of Terror”
Format: Digital (Spotify)
The knock on Sleigh Bells after its 2010 debut, “Treats,” was that it was intriguing as an experimental lark with its purposefully clipped mixes, but that there wasn’t much there other than that.
That meant coming back with songs on “Reign of Terror,” so this Brooklyn duo did. On “Comeback Kid,” the lead single, driving guitars blare against a nervy synth flare with lyrics that seem self-referential: “I know you tried so hard, but you can’t even win. You gotta try a little harder – you’re the comeback kid,” sings Alexis Krauss.
While there are nods to the production style of “Treats” such as “Comeback Kid” and the opening cut, “True Shred Guitar,” they deviate from the formula at the end of “Terror.” It’s effective in showing that this Brooklyn band has other tricks in its bag.
With Krauss’ voice, which can purr like a kitten as in “Road to Hell” or be a shout as in “Demons,” and the guitars often clattering in the mix, there’s a yin and yang element to Sleigh Bells, showing masculine and feminine sides all at the same time.
It’s all bundled together with improved song craft on “Reign of Terror,” a solid effort from 2012.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.