The Kills: Blood Pressures
Alternative & IndieRock
The Kills have three main claims to fame.
The first is that they are a better version of the Ting Tings. The second is
that 50% of them are engaged to Kate Moss. The third is that the cover for
their 2005 album No Wow was bestowed with the honour of being featured on
a range of Uniqlo t-shirts.
Apart from that, the über-cool
Anglo-American duo of Allison Mosshart and Jamie Hince just go about doing
their thing without kicking up much of a fuss. That thing is a usually smooth,
sometimes awkward fusion of indie, art and garage rock. Prior to Blood
Pressures, three albums released between 2003 and 2008 yielded decisively
positive reviews and a cult following, but underwhelming chart performances in
the US and the UK.
After years of very deliberately pushing
the envelope to mixed results, there’s a very obvious sense of comfort on this latest
album. They’ve embraced a number of different styles into constructing the
record, and just let it be.
Opening track ‘Future Starts Slow’ lives up
to its title, as it eases you in to a mild but edgy acoustic sound. ‘Satellite’
is a ska-infused number in which Mosshart’s anxiety-stricken voice fits well,
while ‘Nail in My Coffin’ smacks of late 80s Madonna with a dash of Mosshart’s
punk background. Other high points include Hince’s homage to The Beatles on the track ‘Wild Charms’, and the smoky country closer ‘Pots and Pans’. As an album, Blood
Pressures is far from spectacular, but it’s solid, consistent and makes for
This won’t be the album to bring The Kills buckets
of fame, but they’ve always seemed content enough to stick to their guns. Most
will believe that this is just The Kills going through the motions. Just
because this is a safer sound, though, doesn’t mean that it’s a safer move. The
more reflective and mature tone of this record shouldn’t be mistaken for
indifference and lethargy by the duo. We all know that bigger isn’t always
better. Just being different can be better, even if very slight.