The Kills

Blood Pressures

Written by: TL on 12/04/2011 00:53:43

Well holy shit folks. I guess when even the by now mythical BL returns to his duties, it's a sign that us other writers need to take a good look in the mirror and ask ourselves: "Have we really done our jobs lately?". In my case, the answer is "nah, I've been partying, partying", but that's on hold now, because you need me to take a look at some records for you, starting tonight with "Blood Pressures", the fourth LP from British/American indie rock duo The Kills.

In all honest, I haven't been keeping up with The Kills since having a brief fling with 2005's sophomore "No Wow", yet while time has seen the band release another record in 2008's "Midnight Boom", and singer Alison 'VV' Mosshart spend some time with The Dead Weather, things haven't undergone revolutionary changes here on "Blood Pressures". VV and guitarist James 'Hotel' Hince still stand for minimalist, indie rock'n'roll, most reminiscent of similar duo's like The White Stripes and The Raveonettes.

What makes a fourth album of music what is basically strictly guitar, drum machine and vocals still worthwhile, is the fact that between Mosshart's charismatic vocals and Hince's brazen guitar riffs, there's enough grimy coolness to give the average hipster a massive inferiority complex. By gradually intensifying otherwise repetitive arrangements, The Kills habitually pull off such sly grooves as to crawl under the listener's skin on only few listens, ensuring both enjoyment and memorability.

On this record, the best examples of this come in "Heart Is A Beating Drum", "Nail In My Coffin" and opener "Future Starts Slow", all of which are essentially refinements of a style I'm going to dare to call vintage The Kills. However, although "Blood Pressures" goes out of its way to avoid letting its band's minimalism lead to sameyness, attempts at varying (see: slowing down) the tempo seems to only lead to slightly weaker songs - and with the exception of the almost western-ish closer "Pots And Pans", these are still cause enough for me to feel like I have yet hear a Kills album that keeps me interested from end to end (though granted, I've only heard two out of four).

Regardless, that doesn't budge the fact that VV and Hotel are still very much alive in the business of writing rock'n'roll that's cooler than you, and that when they play to their strengths, questions of relevance and repetition fade from the mind of the listener. Long story short, if you want to feel Californication-kind-of-cool, I suggest you get a hold of this and rock about to it for a while.

Download: Heart Is A Beating Drum, Pots And Pans, Nail In My Coffin, Future Starts Slow
For The Fans Of: The White Stripes, The Raveonettes, The Joy Formidable
Listen: myspace.com/thekills

Release Date 01.04.2011
Domino Records

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