Sleigh Bells made one of 2010's most flamboyant debuts with Treats, a mind-boggling clash of hardcore and electro; the sound earned the duo high-profile endorsements from M.I.A., Beyoncé and a slew of critics. How to follow up such a big splash? For Sleigh Bells, the answer was to use the same successful formula, only in an even bigger, heavier way. The band's second album, Reign of Terror, includes a couple of delicate, sugary pop tracks ("Comeback Kid," "End of the Line"), but for the most part showcases guitarist Derek Miller's assaulting riffs and Alexis Krauss's unearthly vocal melodies in a darker light. Severe, squalling songs like "Leader of the Pack" and "Born to Lose" reference Miller's anguish over losing his father in a motorcycle accident. The slick beats and thrilling rhythms are still there, but they're deeply enhanced with a palpable sense of emotional drama.
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