Album Reviews

The Kills – Midnight Boom

(Domino) UK release date: 10 March 2008


The Kills are now, in case you hadn’t noticed, famous.

Not for anything as pedestrian as music though. Oh no. That’s no reason for a musician to be famous.Far more important and pertinent to everyone’s life is whomever the musician happens to be, ahem,getting to know (in the biblical sense), at the time. There’s the proper basis for a career.Screw the guitar lessons, last one down Storm model agency is a loser…

So for the hard of thinking, here’s the short version: Midnight Boom is a tremendous record. For theharder of thinking, here’s the Heat version: is the latest album from Kate Moss’s new squeeze goodenough to stop Cheryl Cole moving out of love rat Ashley’s home? Find out on pages 5, 6, 8, 20-23and 24

Ah, fame. Ah, celebrity. If you’d suggested 12 months ago that The Kills (or at least one half of)would be appearing in the pages of the tabloids more often than Jade Goody, people would’ve probablythought you’d been spending too long hanging out with Pete Doherty’s cat. But somehow, some way,some supermodel girlfriend, that is where Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince find themselves. And itstill doesn’t feel quite right. Introverted, uneasy and with songs pricklier than a hedgehogfucking a horse chestnut – it’s hard to think of a band less suited to being massivelymisrepresented by the press.

But even under the unexpected glare of fame, The Kills have really delivered. From the oh look,someone’s drained all of the blood out of the Sugababes and strapped them to a telephoneexchange for what they did to Gary Numan, purr of U.R.A Fever, to the sneering, rent-a-nihilistattitude and clanking beats of Tape Song (“Time ain’t gonna fix it honey / Time don’t give ashit…”), to the kaleidoscopic Alphabet Pony, which sounds just like a bunch of satanic childrentearing M.I.A‘s last album to pieces, it’s dynamic, glitchy and incredibly atmospheric.

Thanks, in no small part to Spank Rock producer Armani XXXchange, Midnight Boom alsopossesses of this air of modernity and experimentation which is never less than startling: check thegleefully self-destructive way M.E.X.I.C.O.I.C.U. spends the 90-or-so seconds of its life attemptingto bash itself to pieces against the edges of the drums; or Sour Cherry’s bored-now vocal and starkpots-and-pans-patticake backing. This is not the sound of a band standing still. This is a band asrestless and as unsatisfied as ever.

But still as capable as gathering you up in a dark seedy whirlpool of intoxicating intent. True, athousand flashbulbs in a thousand nightclubs may have shattered the illusion that Mosshart and Hincespend every single moment they’re not on tape rutting like wild beasts, but there is still thisaura, this mystique about their music. If they can keep that, then it’ll take more than The DailyMail to stop The Kills.


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More on The Kills
The Kills – Ash & Ice
The Kills – Blood Pressures
The Kills – Midnight Boom
The Kills @ Soho Revue Bar, London
The Kills – No Wow


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