The Daily Californian Online


By Cynthia Kang
Daily Cal Staff Writer
Monday, April 4, 2011
Category: Arts & Entertainment > Music > CD Reviews


Messy folly has never sounded so elegant, as London-based band the Kills unleash a rapid fire of battered heartbreak and dirty revenge on their latest album, Blood Pressures. Crass, coarse and complicated, dynamic duo Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince bring back their signature grit in their fourth release. Brimming with dissonant blues and wildly hypnotic hooks, Blood Pressures forms an instantly enjoyable display of empowerment.

The appeal of the Kills lies in their blatant disregard for and reinvention of conventions, demonstrating that delightfully contagious tracks aren't limited to crisp music that soothes and pleases. Instead, the album couples Mosshart's ragged vocals with rough, uneven bursts of percussion and warped guitar lines.

The elements, already enthralling on their own, merge to form a power shield against life's cuts and bruises. Mosshart's husky screams of "You can blow what's left of my right mind" confirm that the Kills are not to be messed with. The power struggle vocalized is less of a close match and more of a no-brainer. Blending fierce connotations and gripping rhythms, Blood Pressures throws down battle songs that are surprisingly danceable.

When the Kills aren't delivering hard-hitting tales of angst, they turn to minimalist portrayals of woe. Intended to evoke empathy, they quickly become watered-down in their lack of emotional intensity. But these moments are thankfully sparse, leaving listeners to bask in Blood Pressures' glory. Tough exteriors and inherently dazzling techniques turn the album into an anthem for the downtrodden.

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