VV and Hotel. Alias Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince. The Kills. The latest addition in a growing number of boy girl (or is it girl boy?!?) combos. The vacant stare, the James Dean pose, the faded blue jeans, dusty leathers and an obvious stench of too much nicotine. Fresh from the back of an old pick up they step off like two people here to save the world from the threatening grip of uncool.
The Kills have produced a scuzzed-up, fuzzed-out, beat-laden, melody-spewing, guitar-based frenzy that is so lazy, hazy, sexy, sleazy, sassy and saucy they have not only gone through the back pages of the best in garage punk rock, they have re-written it. This is mean, this is nasty, and it will tear your head off, stomp on your flower beds and steal your ice cream given half a chance. This is not an album simply for your listening pleasure. This is a necessity. An addiction. A calling. And it will become a big part of your life. Quite simply put your record collection will not be complete without it.
The shared vocals are sung in a sugar-coated, could-care-not Kim Deal, Lou Reed fashion. And they’ve taken the blues and sat it neatly on their sleeve. Every now and again whipping it out and wielding it like a pair of nunchuks with the intention of brow-beating their songs into the next level Bruce Lee style. In most cases this works fine, sadly in some they come off a bit of a second rate Chuck Norris next to the likes of The Soledad Brothers. However, the guitars are psych-chomping, punk-munching, riff-beating distortion-laden beautiful, sexy noise machines full of that lovely little raspy noise that makes the hairs on the back of your neck just stand up straight, throw on a pair of jet black blacker than black shades and light a cigarette. Kind of like how I would imagine it to be if James Williamson from the Stooges and Keith Richards ever jammed together with Johnny Cash producing.
'Cat Claw' from the recent 'Black Rooster EP' has charging, thundering guitars and an angry take it to you riff. 'Pull A U' oozes of underlying menace, 'Hand' adds a mix of MC5 lemon to a New York Dolls spritzer, 'Black Rooster', quite possibly the best on the album reeks of that wah-wah funky blues riffage that just carries your feet into the centre of the dance floor, 'Fuck The People' uses a charging rock riff, a kind of rockabilly sound associated with the likes of The Sonics, the godfathers of garage rock. And 'Monkey on my Back' is a chilled-out, almost epic rock track that takes from early Jesus and Mary Chain and up to date BRMC with an almost Spiritualized feel to it.
Overall this is a furious mix of PJ Harvey angst, the laid back NY cool of the Velvet Underground and the staunch ‘punkness’ of the Stooges. This is the kind of music that walks up to the likes of the White Stripes, blows a pool of smoke in their faces and then takes a hold of the red carpet the UK has so lovingly thrown out for them, before whipping it right out from under their very feet and laughing furiously as they hit the ground falling. Yes, people, Music is finally going back to the roots of what it should all be about. The attitude. Being able to smell it on the cd case before you even pick it up off the shelf. Feeling it oozing from every section of the box as you peel back the plastic cover. And knowing that what you are about to pay for is worth every penny without even having heard a single track.
Next to this, the Ikea of modern day musical furniture, everything else is just a bog standard flat pack B and Q special offer reduced for quick sale. Simply lovely.
9Michael Irvine's Score