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By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 15, 2012 5:45PM

2012_03_sleigh_bells.jpg Sleigh Bells, what can we say about you? We loved you first album. We've seen you a number of times and you've never been loud enough (seriously, if the duo of Crystal Castles can make our ears bleed, you should too!). And we seriously doubted the wisdom of your band ever releasing second disc since it seemed improbable you could improve on the simplistic cacophony of your debut.

Yet here we are. We hold your sophomore effort Reign Of Terror in our hands. This album probably shouldn't exist, yet here it is. Did we need another cross between 4AD and early era Beastie Boys? Probably not. But does it sound really fucking good? Probably so. Definitely so.

Main Bells Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss played it smart. Instead of delving deep and trying to mine their serious side they kept the proceedings on the proper side that combines high school cheerleading with a potholed stoner lurker landscapes. It's more ice cream headache than pixie stix buzz, so we guess your enjoyment of the album depends on which of those two you identify with. (And you'll notice both identifiers are pleasurable, depending on you viewpoint.)

Sleigh Bells could have branched out. And we all would have hated them for it. Instead the duo returned with an album that kept the sound in the red while keeping the melodies in the territory bordering on the diabetic. There's a slight darkness to this latest album but don't mistake that for maturity. Growing up would kill Sleigh Bells. And the band is blissfully stuck in adolescence. For now.