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Album Review
Blood Pressures

Blood Pressures
by The Kills


Review Date
13th April
Reviewed by
Courtney Sanders

The Kills have been busy of late; Alison Mosshart has had various Jack White-infused side-projects and Jamie Hinze has been occupying himself with marriages to supermodels. One would think, considering the company this duo have been keeping since Midnight Boom, their latest output would be either vastly different or as is often the case when artists find other outlets, disinterested. However, if there’s one thing we’ve come to expect from 'Hotel' and 'VV' (their nicknames for each other) over their career, it’s consistency. By maintaining the aesthetic that made Keep on Your Mean Side so exciting, and adding the quirks and professionalism a fourth full-length album deserves, the duo have cemented their position as a Big Deal Band, credibility (mostly) intact.

Midnight Boom enlisted the production credentials of XXXchange and was a suitably electronic departure from their earlier, gutteral rock ‘n roll. Poorly received – to these ears, anyway - it seemed like a dishonest attempt at musical exploration, and an unnecessary one at that. It’s an extremely difficult thing for an artist to completely embody a unique aesthetic in every aspect of their output and this is exactly what Mosshart and Hinze, from the outset, had managed. The ‘look’ was there, the have they / haven’t they, will they / won’t they sexual undertones were there, which bled into their drum machine driven indie. Both in tight black jeans with an appropriately whimsical adornment of accessories, live audiences often witnessed Mosshart straddling Hinze’s guitar; and with that, a snapshot and conclusion of The Package.

With Blood Pressures the couple have slightly re-imagined their classic Kills schtick with some emotional insight spliced between singles that are replete among the eleven tracks. ‘Heart is a Beating Drum’, ‘Nail in My Coffin’ and ‘DNA’ are the most traditionally Kills here, all buzzing, monotonous guitar and Mosshart wails. ‘Wild Charm’s’ evokes their relative soft sides; Hinze picks up croony vocal duties, and is accompanied by traditional steel string chord progressions and heartwarming, brushed percussion. Mosshart gives her Menthol-induced drawl a rest with slight backing vocals. Single ‘Satellite’ presents a melding of the two and is one of the albums treats; a single guitar onslaught married to an off-kilter, reserved time signature and interwoven sensual vocal considerations. While Blood Pressures certainly doesn’t re-invent the wheel, therein lies the charm of The Kills. By sticking to a tried and true aesthetic they have, as with every new release, presented a more absolute picture of themselves.


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