Album: The Kills

No Wow, DOMINO
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The Independent Culture

Wild and free is doubtless how the Anglo-American duo The Kills fancy themselves to be, but in reality, they're trapped within one of rock's more constricting aesthetics, unable to make a move that hasn't already been okayed by several generations of New York rockers. Admittedly, they were deliberately aiming to "explore the turbulent period in New York when punk turned into disco" - though it's hard to see how that fits with the album title, a reference to their belief that there's no "wow" in pop culture any more. So, this is supposed to wow us, is it? A puttering drum machine, self-consciously primitive guitar scratchings of dogged minimality, and a female vocalist rehearsing various Patti Smith, Polly Harvey and Lydia Lunch stylings? Again? Frankly, what with the plodding beats and the clichéd lyrics about guns and 666 and boredom, it's not so much wow as ho-hum. Musically, their self-imposed imperative of the most basic, stripped-down sound possible simply denudes their songs of wha

Wild and free is doubtless how the Anglo-American duo The Kills fancy themselves to be, but in reality, they're trapped within one of rock's more constricting aesthetics, unable to make a move that hasn't already been okayed by several generations of New York rockers. Admittedly, they were deliberately aiming to "explore the turbulent period in New York when punk turned into disco" - though it's hard to see how that fits with the album title, a reference to their belief that there's no "wow" in pop culture any more. So, this is supposed to wow us, is it? A puttering drum machine, self-consciously primitive guitar scratchings of dogged minimality, and a female vocalist rehearsing various Patti Smith, Polly Harvey and Lydia Lunch stylings? Again? Frankly, what with the plodding beats and the clichéd lyrics about guns and 666 and boredom, it's not so much wow as ho-hum. Musically, their self-imposed imperative of the most basic, stripped-down sound possible simply denudes their songs of what little interest they may have triggered in the first place. The results sound like The Raveonettes, but without the great tunes, the great harmonies, and the great grasp of pop dynamics. One can but quote their own lyric at them: "I know I've seen you before/ You bored me then/ And now you just bore me some more."

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