The Kills: Midnight Boom

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Albums  The Kills 

Written By:

Mark Thomson

04th March 2008
At 17:00 GMT

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The Kills look set to test the old popstar excuse that it's impossible to sing and dance simultaneously. For when listening to "Midnight Boom", doing one without the other is not an option that your central nervous system will be capable of.

VV takes the lion share of the vocals on this one and does she ever go to town. Her performance is reminiscent of being garotted after ingesting six litres of cough syrup. The countless years of damage by her chimney impressions are clearly not doing her voice a disservice. Sure lung cancer is a likelihood, but her death croak will be a sirens call.

"Tape Song" and "Alphabet Pony" are two of the highlights of her vocal dominance. The former sounds more than aptly titled until Alison "VV" Mosshart shatters the heads of the cassette deck as she pulls the song kicking and bleeding into the 21st century via her powerhouse of a chorus. On the latter song she find herself sharing a sonic space with Sarah Ferguson in a track which will forever be intrinsicly linked with the lyrics "How come everytime you come around, My London, London bridge, wanna go down like, London, London", but still manages to build a lot of it's own individual charm.

Elsewhere, "I'm bored of cheap and cheerful, i want expensive sadness." kicks off with a heartbeat bassline whose pacemaker comes courtesy of extraordinary embellishment by means of the percussion section. One which ropes in a vast array of obscure phonics to flesh out the scuzzed-up blues.

Not every song is quite the feetjerker an album of this nature requires. "Getting Down" is a largely unremarkable exercise in platypus impersonation and a few others in the mid-section slacken the pace of the album. What we have zero complaints about whatsoever though, is the closing serenade. "Goodnight Bad Morning" swaps the blood, sweat and blood of its precursors for a voyage upon the troubled water under the bridge. There is simply no more perfect a way to end the half hour of raucous, flamboyant, dark and dirty blues that have come before.

It's safe to say that here endith the White Stripes comparisons.

Rating:  8 / 10

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