"Despite them spending a long time (for them) in a studio, it’s good to see the Kills not splurging out on and losing their essential ideas of how they should write and present their songs. "
The Kills – Midnight Boom
Am I the only person who prefers this to No Wow? For what it's worth I think this LP is a fantastic piece of work, their best yet. The Kills have seemingly decided that messing about with sound and textures in a studio can be fun. As a consequence, the record feels light, sharp and almost flippantly confident. And very more-ish. The pace jumps track to track, as if by whim; in that respect it reminded me of the odd Royal Trux release (check out Getting Down). U.R.A Fever is a sub Conny-Plank growl, whereas Cheap and Cheerful is classic pop; tinny, maddeningly repetitive and interested in only the here and now. The moody Tape Song has a feel that isn’t a million miles away from the kind of paranoid, splintered rock the Pixies traded in. Who’d have thought it?
Despite them spending a long time (for them) in a studio, it’s good to see the Kills not splurging out on and losing their essential ideas of how they should write and present their songs. They’ve kept their sense of discipline and proportion for sure. The minimal rock that is in some ways their trade mark gets an airing with M.E.X.I.C.O. and Alphabet Pony (albeit a more poppy take). Actually, it might just be me but for some reason that last track reminds me of Kelis. Time for the tablets… Still, it shows that for the Kills, there are musical avenues to be explored and experimented with. Last Days of Magic and Hook and Line are lo-fi Chuck Berry shuffles that are balanced out by the dreamy, slightly gothick Black Balloon.
Top of the Pops for me is What New York Used to Be which has charm by the bucket-load and hopefully is a sign of things to come.
A magnificent piece of work.
Words: Richard Foster