The Kills – Blood Pressures (Domino)
April 4, 2011 by Daniel Gill
It’s been three years since the release of Midnight Boom, the third album from The Kills. Since then, the duo have been doing their own things, Alison Mosshart has been working with Jack White on the alt-rock super group known as The Dead Weather and Jamie Hince has been asking Kate Moss to marry him. It was going to be interesting to see if the connectivity of the duo was still as strong on Blood Pressures as it was on the earlier releases.
Their third release, Midnight Boom, is a fantastic album and gained a lot of popularity within the music press. They also gained a lot of new fans thanks to many songs from the album being used for American TV shows, which showed rebellious teens trying to live rock star lives (see 90210). Midnight Boom was a soundtrack for young hip intellectual Americans who spent their nights and dollars at trendy cocktail bars. Blood Pressures takes a step away from that scene and places the listener in a back-alley smoke filled Blues club where fashion and class doesn’t exist, its brooding, it’s aggressive and it’s still got the boom.
‘Future Starts Slow’ is the opener for the album and it’s got that signature dark and dirty drum sound you would expect to hear from the band. The drum beats are so heavy on a lot of the tracks that you would expect them to drown Mosshart’s vocals but this never happens. She seems to sail over the rough tide of sounds effortlessly.
Jamie Hince provides a showcase of expert guitar playing throughout the album, he stands toe to toe with the ferocious drum beats without whimpering. The heavy distortion and reverb effects are added to the guitar like a coat of arms but both instruments never seem to clash. He makes the album slide from genres like blues rock for “You Don’t Own the Road” and post punk for “Nail in the Coffin” while adding The Kills own unique sound to the mix. His best work is saved for the last song called “Pots and Pans” which would be perfect for a Spaghetti Western remake; it’s as if you can feel the desert heat radiating from his guitar. There’s also a treat half way through the album where Hince has a song to himself called “Wild Charms”, which seems like a small tribute to The Beatles back in their psychedelic days.
Blood Pressures shows that the band gets stronger with every release, the spark is still there and it doesn’t look like fading anytime soon. Forget Kate Moss, it’s Mosshart and Hince who are perfect for each other.