the kills blood pressures
  • MONDAY, APRIL 04, 2011

  • Posted by: Matt Howard

Three years following the release of Midnight Boom, the duo of Alison Mosshart ("VV") and Jamie Hince ("Hotel"), provide us with another sonic sampling of sexual aggression in Blood Pressures. While VV spent a short stint with the Dead Weather, the brief separation allowed Hince to legally bind himself to supermodel, Kate Moss. The previous products of The Kills were driven by their rough personas and the lo-fi aesthetics of industrial dismay. The hiatus is a proven success, as Blood Pressures exemplifies two maturing artists.

The Kills pride themselves in the dark tones that are emitted by their minimalist approaches of production. Although they migrated into Key Club Studio in Benton Harbor, Michigan, they continue to produce with the humble mentality that once had them airmailing each other tapes across the Atlantic. The two artists play every instrument on the album, and Hince acted as its focal producer.

While the dreary tone is upheld in Blood Pressures there is a recognizable alteration throughout the entire album. The duo expresses a lyrical diligence that was once absent. Mosshart once embodied the aggravated persona of a chick wielding a stiletto (not the shoe). The lyrics of certain tracks on the album radiate a new-found approachability. Completely absent of their bluesy riffs, "The Last Goodbye" contains Mosshart's sexy rasp above persistently gentle piano. The song's chorus, "It's the last goodbye, I swear/I can't survive on a half-hearted love that will never be whole," provides a perplexing vision into the once-supposed, dark soul of VV.

The album also contains tracks that will certainly be favored by The Kills' faithful, as they closely resemble their previous creations. The two singles, "Satellite" and "DNA", manifest the quintessential, persistent beats of drum tech and the underlying, and often sedating, distorted strings. The vocal assistance of the Reverend Gospel Choruss "ooh's" provide the tracks with vaporous incarnation.

Blood Pressures has noticeable fluctuations in mood throughout its whole. Seismographic peaks and collapses of pace are difficult to ignore in songs like "Wild Charms". Although it's a pleasing sample of Hince's whispering vocals, it acts as an outlier that distracts away from the total's ambiance.

The Kills' latest is certainly admirable in its display of the duo's artistic growth. The tracks that stray from the norm are undeniably satisfying, but their scattered placement poses a threat to the flow of Blood Pressures. Luckily, the heart at its core is strong enough to keep it pumping.

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The Kills Live at Antone's - SXSW



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