Monday, April 18, 2005

The Kills – No Wow (Rough Trade, 2005)

The Kills are a sleazy (in a good way) garage rock duo made up of an American woman and a British man that originally got their start by trading tapes of music in the mail. Their first album Keep on Your Mean Side was a bracing blast of raw rock and roll and they keep the energy that they showed in that debut while adding some very subtle electronics and drums machine beats to the mix.

VV (the female vocalist’s pseudonym) belts out anguished, sexy lyrics over Hotel’s (the male guitarist) jagged riffs. Songs like the title track “No Wow” and “I Hate the Way You Love Pt. 1” continue the groups examination of fractured romantic themes. The strangely poppy “I Hate the Way You Love Pt. 2” and alt-country swagger of “Rodeo Town” prove that the band is not just a one trick pony. The Kills style of raw stripped down garage rock should appeal to fans of fellow garage rock revivalists like the White Stripes or the Black Keys.

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