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Sleigh Bells released their sophomore album, Reign of Terror, on February 21st, 2012 on Mom + Pop Music. Produced by guitarist Derek Miller, and written by Miller and singer Alexis Krauss, Reign of Terror is the highly anticipated follow up to 2010’s Treats, an album whose deft, stylish combination of genres, sounds, and dynamics was simply unprecedented. Treats' own extreme volume was matched by the deafening roar of praise, landing the band on over 50 year-end lists for 2010. Sleigh Bells toured behind Treats relentlessly, opening for the likes of LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip, Yeasayer and Major Lazer before headlining their own shows, many of which sold out in minutes. They played lauded, exhilarating sets at festivals around the globe, confirming their status as a sheer tour de force on the stage. It is this intense live energy, coupled with the continued desire to carve out new musical terrain, which runs throughout their new album, Reign of Terror. Engineered by Shane Stoneback, who helped to record Treats, songs on Reign of Terror are as crushing and authoritative as their title suggests; they’re effortlessly robust and heavier than any of the band’s previous output, but more melodic as well. Packed densely with stomping beats, shredding Jackson guitar riffs, sinister ribbons of Alexis Krauss’ candy-coated vocals, and the cries of a pep rally gone terribly wrong, Reign of Terror is a record that, like its predecessor, redefines everything you think music can be.
Doldrums is a musical venture produced by Canadian artist Eric Woodhead.
As a part of a larger community reacting to overhype and plasticity of modern youth culture and it’s ultimately alienating nature, his music deals with, or helps him deal with, the loss of the individual in an increasingly altruistic society. Doldrums music reflects this societal change on the personal level, as a member of the last generation to remember life pre-internet and 24-hour status updates. His androgynous voice comes across mid-panic attack, floating in a sea of chopped up samples, disembodied vocals and tribal percussion. Spearing between electro-hallucinogenic freak-outs and languid nostalgia his tracks somehow manage to elevate classic pop melodies above a sample saturated sound collage.
Doldrums gained notoriety in their native Toronto through performances at The House of Everlasting Superjoy, a prominent Toronto DIY showspace they co-ran with members of DDMMYYYY, as well as playing at flash parties in abandoned spaces. 2010 saw them release a number of 7”’s including a split with DDMMYYYY and a VHS video mixtape. Woodhead began Doldrums in 2010 by posting videos and designing websites by fictional bands online under a variety of different band pseudonyms, Doldrums being one of them, taking the name from a favorite children’s book, Norton Juster ’s ‘The Phantom Tollbooth”. The stunning barrage of text and images with the music shows a pointedly critical take of what a ‘band’ is, which fortunately comes across no less digestible than Gorillaz.
This year after hearing his interpretation of their song ‘Chase the Tear’, Portishead announced they would release his song as the b-side to their single. At the same time new tracks fell into the hands of cult London indie label No Pain In Pop and were quickly confirmed for release as ‘Empire Sound’, his debut EP.
Though now based out of Montreal, Doldrums sound and attitude screams Toronto, where artists like Skrillex, Crystal Castles and Fucked Up are known for challenging existing ideologies about format and genre.
His music is mostly influenced by that of his friends such as DDMMYYYY and Grimes who he toured with last spring, the references he makes to pop culture have a placed artificiallity and unfamiliarity to them. Doldrums is emotionally vindicating sonic exploration, a fractured mirror image of what our post-internet culture has become.
Doldrums is full circle from the pinnacle of pop to the depths of the underground. A revolving door going too fast to get out.
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