I really wanted to hate this album. Ask Adam, after my initial listen, courtesy of the NY Times website, I had written the album off as too easy, too clean and too safe. There was something almost demonic about Treats, it felt like at any point the entire world could come crashing down upon you and before you knew it the whole thing was over. The wall of distortion hid the obvious pop songs to the point that you had to really listen to realize how catchy what you were listening to was. It was exciting, fresh and a surprise. If you weren’t paying attention you might write it off as sludge, and you’d look like an idiot for that.
On the new one they still have the distorted guitar, but it’s very obvious what you are listening to pop. There’s much less experimentation and the songs are more drawn out. Alexis Krauss sings more (and you can hear it), Derek Edward Miller plays more melodically. Nothing ends like Infinity Guitars, nothing is as scatter brained as Kids and nothing is as deceptively warm as Rill Rill.
The thing is, it’s still fucking good. Demons is as scathing as anything on Treats, Road to Hell is just as funny. It’s not that the hooks are hookyer, they’re just easier to find. It’s not that that chorus’ are catchier, they’re just more discernable. I find myself drawn to listening to it more,as long as I play it loud. Really fucking loud. And use the correct treble and bass settings. If you need to know what those are, see the In Utero liner notes.
Average song length on Treats: 2:54
Average song length on Reign of Terror: 3:17