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The Kills: Blood Pressures


The Kills

Album: Blood Pressures
Label: Domino

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The Kills always sound like they need a full band to come along and kick their sultry garage-rock into high gear. That happened, sort of, when singer Alison Mosshart was recruited to front Jack White’s The Dead Weather. Blood Pressures is The Kills’ first album since The Dead Weather thrust Mosshart into the limelight—not to mention in front of a honest-to-God rock group for the first time since she led the ’90s pop-punk band Discount. Blood Pressures is one of The Kills’ most fleshed-out releases to date: Leaning more on sampled drums than his usual drum machine, guitarist-programmer Jamie Hince wrings a rounded, organic sound out of the studio, and his bluesy riffs stab and swing on “Nail Is My Coffin” and “Damned If She Do.” But whiffed attempts at glitchiness (“Heart Is A Beating Drum”) and sludgy reggae (“Satellite”) don’t do the twosome any favors. And “Wild Charms,” the one song Hince sings lead on, is a threadbare patch of John Lennonisms that isn’t worth the three seconds it takes to skip past. The Kills’ gimmicky aesthetic has never brought anything beneficial to the table; it’s only been a needless distraction hampering an otherwise-promising songwriting team. In spite of some solid material and smoky performances by Mosshart, Blood Pressures does little to change that.