Today: Jul 17, 2024

Music Review: Sleigh Bells – Reign of Terror

 JON MORENO Arts Editor

1. “True Shred Guitar” – Sleigh Bells gives its listeners, who may not have seen them live yet, a glimpse into the energy of a show. Alexis’ vocals sound like they’re coming from a distance as Derek’s strong guitar riffs slowly build up to a hard-distorted drum. Alexis’ distinct voice is perfect for the sound that Sleigh Bells has made their own. Sounds like they’re staying true to their unique sound rather than experimenting. 4/5 Owls.

2. “Born to Lose” – Can anyone ever expect anything other than hard drums and just foolish and mean guitar from this duo? It almost sounds haunting as Alexis croons. Her harmonies are eerie but yet suitable for this brand of music that Sleigh Bells has created. Everyone must know before they pop in a Sleigh Bells CD that the possibility of having their ears ringing by the end of every song is very likely. This one is no exception. 4/5 Owls.

3. “Crush” – Some hand clapping in this one to accompany the hard drums this time around. This song sounds like a rendition of a live performance. Alexis’ voice has microphone effect to it, and a crowd is audible in the background. Alexis’ lyrics may be difficult to make out sometimes but truthfully, her words don’t take precedence to how she is saying her words. Her melodies are intended for pop music but the sonic sounds aren’t. Opposites attract when it comes to Sleigh Bells. 2/5 Owls.

4. “End of the Line” – Even when Sleigh Bells tries to slow down the pace a bit, they cannot help but include those ear-numbing drums. Regardless, the melodic chaos that ensues is still sticking to the formula as this album provides another solid cut. 3/5 Owls.

5. “Leader of the Pack” – Bells chime in the intro for this song before, you guessed it, hard drums and distorted voices grace the ear. This one feels a bit lackluster in the sense that it doesn’t have the energy of the first four tracks. Throughout the whole song, I’m waiting for a breaking point where the song escalates but it never does. First weak song of the album. 1/5 Owls.

6. “Comeback Kid” – The energy comes back quickly after the last track as the beat here hits repeatedly with a hard snare. Again, Alexis’ lyrics are difficult to make out but putting that aside, one has to enjoy the melodies and uniqueness this duo offers. 3/5 Owls.

7. “Demons” – Ominous sounds lurk as a borderline hip-hop drum drops. Alexis ferociously enters the scene as she dares her demons to take action. Nothing but pure attitude. My favorite track on the album so far. 5/5 Owls.

8. “Road to Hell” – More hellacious scenes allude as the nearly whispering harmonies surround the listener like vultures prancing on its prey. Whoever masters Sleigh Bells’ music deserves a fat check. It’s a work of art the way even the subtle sounds seem to make the greatest differences. 3/5 Owls.

9. “You Lost Me” – No hard drums here for a change. It’s a somber song and even Alexis’ vocals become more audible for this one as the words actually mean something here. After the guitar solo by Derek, the trademark drums of Sleigh Bells’ music come in knocking. Not much action after that however. 2/5 Owls.

10. “Never Say Die” – Some electronic synths kick off this song in a more unfamiliar tone than what this album has displayed so far. The song is dark and features a couple guitar solos that definitely add to that feel. The song complements the album title well. 3/5 Owls.

11. “D.O.A.” – This track takes an even darker turn than the last. A Kid Cudi and Sleigh Bells collaboration is all I can think about as I listen to this song. It’s dark but melodic, intricate but still simple. The song ends abruptly which then also means the album does too. Up until that point, this record takes you for an enjoyable ride. However, be aware of loud sounds and mayhem along the way. 3/5 Owls.

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