How many interestingly named people from two different countries does it take to make some of the best blues punk to rock your otherwise meaningless world? No, this is not necessarily a riddle, the answer is two. Hotel and VV, the respectively English and American duo of the Kills, are back with their second full-length album, No Wow.
Even though there’s only two members of the Kills, Hotel’s real name is Jamie Hince and VV’s is Alison Mosshart (what a particularly great and apt last name, as Moss Hart was a fantastic playwright and worked on such musicals as My Fair Lady and Camelot, but I digress), the two don’t do a lot of studio layering for their music. Instead, they create enough mood and atmosphere with two guitars than most do with the same plus bass, drums, keyboards, string sections, and sometimes even marching bands!
The first single from No Wow is called “The Good Ones” and seems to answer the question, `what if Nick Cave met the Divinyls?’ The duo’s chop shop guitars and anarchy meets apathy vocals are what make the Kills memorable. Each song is a little blues punk gem. I’ve always wanted to get a motorcycle (isn’t that a great segue?) and listening to No Wow just makes me want to get one even more, just so I can listen to solely this album on the road. Some people buy CD’s after they get a new vehicle. I’d do it the other way around.
“I Hate the Way You Love” features one of the little subtleties that makes the CD memorable, namely VV hiccuping Karen O style, “Tick tick tick tick tick stop stop.” After the heaviness of the original version of the song, it gets slowed down for “I Hate the Way You Love part 2” which sounds like a U2 b-side. Song titles like “Dead Road 7” and “Murdermile” might give you an idea of what the band is about, but you won’t get the full effect of the sonic guitar pair until you hear the album in full, or see them live. Relations between the yanks and limeys haven’t been this good since Reagan and Thatcher. (Oh my goodness, did I really just write that? I must have been hypnotized by how good the Kills are. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
P.J. Harvey- Dry
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds- Let Love In
The White Stripes- The White Stripes