CD Review: The Kills — Blood Pressures; Playing Masquerade, April 23

The Kills
Blood Pressures

By Al Kaufman

The White Stripes started a movement. A lot of duos are coming out now featuring anvil-heavy blues guitar licks over a passionate voice. But few are doing it as well as The Kills. And that would make sense, since lead singer Allison Mosshart tackled the vocal chores for Jack White’s Dead Weather. And with his chainsaw riffs, it is safe to assume that guitarist Jamie Hince is also a White fan.

Blood Pressures, the duo’s fouth CD, opens with a thumping bass drum before the guitar breaks in on “Future Starts Slow.” And for the rest of the show it is Mosshart’s sexy, strong vocals interplaying with Hince’s riveting hooks and scratchy voice.

“Satellite” crunches along under more heavy beats and Mosshart’s ominous vocals.  The “ohh” chorus, courtesy of the REV Gospel Choir, gives the song, about a lost love, an eerie, Garbage-like quality. The choir shows up again on “DNA,” a slow burn of sexy swagger.

While “Baby Says” offers a touch of girl group doo-wop, things change up in a more major way on “The Last Goodbye.” Although not the Jeff Buckley song of the same title (minus the “the”), it is a piano-rich ballad that, under Buckley’s sweet voice, would have made the listener weep for the sheer beauty. Mosshart brings a Marianne Faithfull tragic quality to it that should provoke just as many tears.

Blood Pressures pumps and thumps with raw emotion and beats. It is part blues, part garage, and all good.

The Kills play Masquerade with Protest the Hero, Maylene & the Sons of Disaster, and Cold Cave on April 23.


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