The Kills – Blood Pressures

(taken from Hive Magazine [www.hivemag.com], I’ll be gradually flooding you with the stuff I’ve written recently, while I’ve been putting off essays!)

Technically The Kills were the first live band I ever saw. And 7 years later, I’m even more in love with them than I ever expected. Blood Pressures is an album created by a band who know exactly who they are. Dirty, sleazy, sexy and unashamedly confident. I don’t how you can express half of those things in musical form, but somehow Alison and Jamie manage it.

As soon as you hear the first clatters of drums on opening track Future Starts Slow you know exactly what you’re in for. Sticking very much to the band’s signature sound, it brilliantly flows straight into single Satellite, with it’s methodic guitars and eerie harmonies, all of this improved greatly by the lo-fi production, picking up on every note played, and distorting to high heaven.

Much of the same could be said about the rest of the album, noisy without being loud and obnoxious like Muse, and lo-fi without overdoing it like “chillwave”. The booming power of Alison’s voice matches perfectly the thunderous drums and the scratchiness of Jamie’s guitar playing to create some form of musical heaven.

Even on the downtime in the album, it thunders along, highlighted most spectacularly by Wild Charmsheading in DNA. The former is a almost upbeat number sung by Jamie, heading into the much more aggressive DNA (which was available as a free download prior to the albums release).

As a whole this album shows exactly how The Kills have progressed from humble beginnings to the big league they sit in now. Their transformation into thundering rock monsters, most prevalent on the track Damned If She Do, really demonstrates the never-ending possibilities for this band. And thankfully the music-box-tinged The Last Goodbye is enough to forgive Alison for her wonderings to the Dead Weather, or at least in my eyes.

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