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.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.