Blood Pressures – The Kills
April 1, 2011
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February 2nd, 2011. On this date it was confirmed that The White Stripes would be no more. The world had lost one of its premier Garage Rock bands. While this was a difficult day for many, myself included, we picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and launched into the next big thing. Since then I’ve been through a number of blues rock bands, in particular The Black Keys, and now The Kills. There’s something about the Garage/Blues rock hybrid that I really enjoy. In fact, my favourite bands of this genre are all minimalist, two person ensembles (The Black Keys, The White Stripes, The Kills and Band of Skulls). But I digress.
We’ve been swamped by music the last few days. Combined with leaks of Fleet Foxes and TV On The Radio, it’s been a delicate process balancing listens from the three albums. Fronted by Alison Mosshart (Jack White’s Dead Weather comrade) and partnered by Jamie Hince, the Kills are the opposite to The White Stripes, in that they mostly have female vocals. Often I find that the female voice is a bit hit-and-miss, but Mosshart has developed a very grungey sound. You can hear obvious links to Patti Smith and Janis Joplin, some of my favourite female singers.
There is very little to dislike about this album. First single Satellite is dark yet catchy. I think it’s more of a reflection on myself than the band, that the darkness, haunting quality of the song is what drives it. It brings images of ghosts and the supernatural. Particularly the second half when the “ooohs” come in. But maybe that’s just me.
The album peaks at about the fourth track. The tracks Heart Is a Beating Drum and Nail In My Coffin are more upbeat than others on the album, but manage to push the tempo without losing the negativity. The album seems to revolve around this general feeling of desperation and even on more intense tracks, you still get this feeling of foreboding. For this reason, it may not be everyone’s cup of team, particularly those more cheery individuals.
I get the feeling this album would be really fun to hear live. The Kills have confirmed that they will be coming to do Splendour, but I feel they would be perfectly suited to the Espy. Of course, they’re probably too big for that now, but the sound is perfect.