The Kills: Midnight Boom

The Kills: Midnight Boom

It takes a special band to rhyme "tornado" with not-words "hurricane-o" and "serenade-o" and make it work. But that's the tongue-in-cheek part of The Kills, or one of them anyway. The black-clad duo–Florida-bred vocalist Alison "VV" Mosshart and Londoner guitarist Jamie "Hotel" Hince–has always loved tuff-gnarl guitars and made its lyrics knowingly sub-literate in order to stir raw emotions. But they're not remotely experimental: The Kills are generally cleaner and catchier than the skuzzier bands they emulate (especially Royal Trux), suggesting that in their secret hearts, Mosshart and Hince are really pop formalists with slightly displaced roots. The Kills' third album of bubble-doom offers the most blatant evidence of this yet: It's immediately catchy, and as the rhyme above shows, they're looser than ever, too. They also seem to have increased their interest in non-rock percussion, as with the military drums of "Cheap And Cheerful" and the almost syncopated overlays of "Sour Cherry." Then there's "What New York Used To Be," a valuable sequel to LCD Soundsystem's "New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down." Maybe LCD can return the favor with a remix–but it's to The Kills' credit that you can dance to it just the way it is.

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