Monday, April 18th, 2011
Future Starts Slow
Review of The Kills’ Blood Pressures and giveaway
Shawn BrackbillOn the surface, Blood Pressures – the new record from The Kills – resembles its predecessor, Midnight Boom, quite a bit; particularly in how it doesn’t really resemble their first two records Keep On Your Mean Side and No Wow very much. This is, of course, a very relative statement – everything that Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince have put out has been been very distinctly them, defined by their two-piece art/garage-rock aesthetic and their sexually-charged/ambiguous/tense dynamic.
But with Midnight Boom, they opened up the range of sounds with which they’d work, amped up the pop elements of their sound and generally tidied things up enough to make for their most accessible work yet; certainly it was the record that got me on board. Blood Pressures continues on in the same direction, but the balance of songs versus sonics seems to have swung decidedly in favour of the former. The groove-first, lyrics-second process that accounted for some of Boom‘s sleazy playground rhyme-like numbers has taken a back seat to more conventionally composed and structured songs, perhaps something Mosshart has brought back from her time in The Dead Weather. And though many are still built on unabashedly mechanical and grimy-sounding backing tracks, even those are sounding more organic and tidier than before.
None of this meant in judgement, just as observation. That The Kills would be getting more polished and sophisticated, even if just in relative terms, should come as no surprise – even from their first release it was inevitable, less a question of “if” than “when” and “how”. But with regards to judgement, as solid as Blood Pressures is – tunes like “Nail In My Coffin” and “Baby Says” are as solid additions to The Kills canon as anything they’ve done – but as a whole it doesn’t have the sense of reckless, unhinged fun that made its predecessor such a treat. It’s wholly on target as a satisfying Kills record but confirms that Midnight Boom was the bullseye.
Spinner and Clash talk to The Kills about their new record while Yours Truly solicits an acoustic video session… geoblocked. What the hell, people. They’re at The Sound Academy on May 1 and courtesy of Domino Records, I’ve got a prize pack consisting of a pair of passes to the show and a copy of Blood Pressures on LP to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to Kills” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body. Contest closes at midnight, April 25.
Arctic Monkeys have a new video from the forthcoming Suck It And See. The album is out June 6 and they’re at The Kool Haus on May 21.
Video: Art Brut – “Lost Weekend”
Oh look, a new Beady Eye video. They’re at The Sound Academy on June 20.
Video: Beady Eye – “Millionaire”
Filter continues Suede week by talking to some of the band’s producers and getting some discography commentary from Brett Anderson and Mat Osman as well as a two–part interview with the founding members. BBC America also talks to Brett Anderson.
Video: Esben & The Witch – “Chorea”
Ed O’Brien disappoints a legion of Radiohead-spotters by telling BBC that there will not be another album coming from the King Of Limbs sessions. There will, however, be a North American release for the “Supercollider”/”The Butcher” 12″ that they put out for Record Store Day in the UK – Exclaim reports that it’ll be out on June 14 and you can stream both sides right now at some dude’s Soundcloud.
Emmy The Great introduces and performs a new song inspired by the Royal Wedding for The Guardian. The song doesn’t appear on Virtue, due out June 13, but you can download one that does at RCRDLBL while Drowned In Sound has the artwork and tracklisting up. Emmy’s website has also relaunched and yes, I did check the cost of flights to New York on seeing she’s playing Pianos on May 5 (too much).
Artrocker talks to Alan McGee, founder of Creation Records.