The Kills – Blood Pressures : Album Reviews
The tremendous amount of build-up for The Kills fourth album Blood Pressures was a little perplexing, given their more-than-sufficient existence outside of the media’s inflating grasp. But whatever the reason for this apparent change in band policy – whether it was a desire to capitalise on popularity from Mosshart’s work with The Dead Weather, or whether the bands natural development sees them now reaching their creative peak and hence, their most lucrative point – it’s arguable that Blood Pressures is their most complete and listenable work to date.
Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart must have been extremely pleased with the results of Midnight Boom, deciding once again to work with the same production team, yet this time around there is a much more calculated approach to the song writing and production thereof.
There’s definitely an overwhelming sense of experimentation here, and compared to Midnight Boom, they’ve distanced themselves slightly from the jagged and angular sounds, opting for a more refined, comprehensive and layered approach. Don’t be mistaken, however, there is still that pervasive sense of brutal honesty and heartfelt sincerity that gently weaves its way through layers of deeply sinister sex appeal. Their edginess is as stark as ever, yet their maturation as songwriters has taken them beyond simply creating raw and cacophonous sounds.
Future Starts Slow possesses a sassy and punchy swagger that belies its immediate ramshackle approach, while DNA bears a refreshing simplicity based on driving hooks that eventually cause one’s head to rock back and fourth metronomically. Satellite is a swampy drawl that bears all of the reggae trademarks of The Dead Weather’s I Cut Like A Buffalo, and Mosshart’s powerfully broken lyrics on The Last Goodbye combines with the wavering keys and mellotron for a Can’t Help Falling In Love-type ballad.
The marriage of Hince and Mosshart’s vocals here brings about a decidedly compelling result – while Mosshart was more or less in Jack White’s shadow with The Dead Weather, on Blood Pressures, Hince is the perfect vocal companion to offer sufficent backing support, giving enough individual character without treading on Mosshart’s toes. And with these two working together so well, one starts to wonder if Jack White will now have to take a back seat?