Monday, January 17, 2005

The Kills, No Wow

Beyond all of the hype, and obligatory buzz, The Kills' latest Long Player, "No Wow" seems to carefully slide it's jagged edges into an already bloated genre and, in a way, celebrates it's own tiredness. On the surface "No Wow" seems to be your basic post- punk "indie" rock, much in the vein of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs or (lord, help me) The Von Bondies. Of course, the fact that The Kills are a male/female duo brings about other such obvious comparisons. However, as the album trails along The Kills seems to, almost brashly, add on layer after layer to their sound and ultimately create a stark contrast with other bands in their illustrious genre. The album is a somewhat disjointed affair, but not in that typical indie fashion. Truth be told, the overall tone is a tad unsettling as the strangely bad and sometimes ominous lyrics add to the curious celebration of offcenter oddities that comprise the structural design of the album. The dizzying effects of , "No Wow" can seldom be found outside a Terry Gilliam film, and in that same respect, it is not an album to be embraced by all. The Kills are probing and prodding rock music here, and it is by no means "pretty". That is not to say, though, that the album is without it's moments of sheer pop gold, and a suprisingly softer element provided by the lovely VV, who has that darkly attractive allure in the same way P.J. Harvey does. The Kills predeliction toward the use of drum machines and synth beats is also telling of the apparent existance of, perhaps, a light heart behind all the jaded theatrics. Sure they're not inventing new genres, or taking music to another dimension like Radiohead, but the way that, "No Wow" so zealously smacks around this thing of ours called "indie", while remaining such a compulsively listenable album is surely somthing to behold.

No comments: