The indie rock duet comprised of American singer Alison Mosshart (that was also part of The Dead Weather, with Jack White) and British guitarist Jamie Hince strikes back. It’s a strong, punch album that they delivered with their 6th effort, “Ash and Ice”, even though some moments sound too mainstream. It rapidly reached the UK Top 20 charts.

Visibly influenced by early PJ Harvey material sonically (Heart of a Dog) and the White Stripes’ two-musician dynamics (Doing It To Death), with the major difference that Mosshart is a much more conventional singer. She shows great skills on Hum for your Buzz. Hince’s guitar sounds great, somehow picking up the Daniel Lanois style of heavy tone (Hard Habit to Break), though the overall style is closer to mainstream alternative rock.

 

The album still rocks. Many songs are the type to motivate you to drive to the end of the world (Bitter Fruit) while The Kills carefully use thin electronic beats here and there, which removes most of the punch. Still, when the melody is strong enough, like on the refrain of Days of When and How, they get the job done. The choice of a minimal treatment on this one was an audacious one. This song could probably have been an alt-rock favourite with heavier drums and guitars, but artistically speaking, the arrangements Mosshart and Hince used are way more interesting.

the kills 2016

The Kills are that kind of band that plays in the mainstream pool but that you can feel could be a bit more artsy. They will never be Arcade Fire nor Suuns but they sometimes sound like the majors’ response to these bands that have a stronger artistic direction.

“Ash & Ice” is their first album since 2011’s “Blood Pressures”, but we can hear Alison Mosshart, 37, on The Dead Weather’s third album, “Dodge and Burn”, released in 2015.

The Kills will play the Metropolis on September 21, 2016 during Pop Montreal, with L.A. Witch. Tickets here!

the kills ash and ice

THE KILLS
Ash and Ice
(Domino Records, 2016)

-Genre: alternative rock
-In the same style as The White Stripes, July Talk, early PJ Harvey

Buy the album on the band’s Google Play page
Follow the band via their Facebook page
Listen to videos on the band’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier
Fondateur et rédacteur en chef
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Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 4 500 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Nicolas a publié "Les perles rares et les grands crus de la musique" en janvier 2013, un ouvrage de 1250 pages en deux tomes.