Sleigh Bells : Reign Of Terror
I wasn’t the only one that was blown away when the demo for Crown On The Ground leaked back in two-thousand-and-whatever. The sheer overblown bombast was undeniably infectious – and for the first time in a while, music seemed exciting. Since then, Sleigh Bells have set sail on a course of unabashed mediocrity. The edginess of Crown On The Ground was smoothed out for their middling debut album, the Sleigh Bells live show was an affront to the medium, and now the band crash land into the pile of shit that is Reign Of Terror.
More on that live show: early in two-thousand-and-something the Prince Bandroom merch stand was decked out with tees emblazoned with “SLAY BELLS”. It’s a homonym, geddit? Fucking genius! Then, after all support acts cancelled for some reason, the band walked onstage to Slayer’s Raining Blood. Sleigh, slay, Slayer – genius! The slow-build intro of the song dissipated disappointingly into whichever track from Treats while half of the Sleigh Bells binary mugged in front of a wall of Marshalls (pretending the backing track wasn’t at the forefront of the mix), and the other half peddled her cheerleader schtick to the packed bandroom. Little more than 20 minutes later, it was all over. The crowd weren’t begging for more, they were just begging for something. “We’ll get the DJ to play some Slayer!” declared Alexis Krauss to the then-sated masses. The DJ didn’t comply. But that affinity, not to be mistaken for influence, of Slayer has manifested into Reign Of Terror (Reign In Blood, Reign Of Terror – geddit?).
The hip hop party beat which defined Crown On The Ground has made way for an elongated double-kick sample, which is placed arbitrarily throughout the record.
The album opens with True Shred Guitar – which, despite its title, sounds like some 14-year-old dicking around at Billy Hyde because his mum is forcing him to learn an instrument. The rest of the record doesn’t really differ – Derek produces shitty tones without resembling artistry, Alexis delivers her raspy-rap vocals without sounding interested, and funnily enough, nothing artistic or interesting happens.
While I’m not vehemently opposed to singers that can’t sing and guitarists that can’t play guitar, it’s just that Sleigh Bells don’t have anything else to offer on Reign Of Terror. There aren’t really any songs on the record, just the musical bi-product of the Human Centipede being fed Rain In Blood foie gras style over and over again.
BY LACHLAN KANONIUK
Best Track: Never Say Die
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Sex On Fire (Shreds Edition) KINGS OF LEON
In A Word: Sheight