At SXSW a couple of years ago Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince
put on one of the event’s most explosive showcases, period. Equal parts Hince’s
depth-charge, punk axe squalls and Mosshart’s feral Patti-meets-PJ yips ‘n’
snarls, the songs sheared through the cerebral cortex like a psychedelic solar
wind. Take no prisoners was the message – and indeed, that’s been the operative mantra in The Kills’ evolution thus far.
Yet for Blood
Pressures a kindler/gentler Kills surfaces in places: the ornate Brechtian
pop of “Satellite”; the stately piano and strings encircling an uncharacteristically
restrained Mosshart on “The Last Goodbye.” Ultimately, though, this is deliciously
schizoid traipse through the duo’s record collection, dipping into everything
from motorik trance-rock and
glutinous glam to ‘80s-throwback New Wave and mutant girl-group pop.
Nobody’s dialing back nothin’ here – in the percussive,
bluesy “Heart is a Beating Drum” Mosshart sneers, “It’s not the door you’re
using/ But the way you’re walking through it,” and you almost get the sense
that she’s waiting for you behind that metaphorical door, clutching a shiv.
is a Beating Drum,” “Baby Says” FRED MILLS