Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Midnight Boom-
The Kills
Status-Out as of 2008
3rd studio album
Rating-4 feathers

One night long ago, a girl named VV and boy named Hotel were staying in an English hotel. With both fed up with their current musical projects, Hotel began playing his guitar and VV, in the room above, heard the noise. She ran off to find it, and when VV’s eyes met his, The Kills were born. Though it might not have happened just like that, it was fate that Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince would meet that night. They became a minimalist punk inspired duo, using nothing more than a guitar and drum machine. With two albums under their belt, Midnight Boom is created with a lot of stress regarding third album syndrome. Will they crash or will they soar? Let’s find out. ‘U.R.A Fever’ sets the tone immediately. They create a weird sorta distorted sound that fits just perfectly against the rotating vocals and it demonstrates what they can produce. ‘Cheap and Cheerful’ is also very catchy. Though the coughing at the beginning is a little grotesque, and the vocal pattern sounds like it’s been done so many times before, it still contains well constructed guitar parts and a flair of their own. ‘Tape Song’ is literally about tape, like scotch. With that aside, it’s a very simple song that has so much poured into it. Alison’s vocals are so perfect, especially the ‘you got to go steal ahead’ part. Though the drum machine is a little cheapish sounding, it awkwardly fits the general sound. ‘Getting Down’ is not all that great. The combination of their voices make for a sound that’s just not comfortable. It sounds creepy, especially since Alison is singing low and very, very breathy. ‘Last Day of Magic’ is very similar to ‘Getting Down’, just a smidge mellower. It just doesn’t make you comfortable, once again. It has an overall awkward sound and the main line ‘A little tornado, a little hurricane-o’ is just dumb. ‘Hook and Line’ is a vast improvement. It contains the best vocals on the album, and it really sounds like she embraced the song and put all she had into it. It comes in so heavy that it knocks you over. ‘Black Balloon’ is the midway break. It’s very gloomy, and the aura created from the sound of them slapping their laps is really a great effect. Though on the surface it’s reflectively melancholy, upon closer listen it’s a little lighter. You just have to smile when you hear “Farewell my black balloon, let the weather have its way with you”. ‘M.E.X.I.C.O.’ is the most sing along/fun song on the album. Though the beginning guitar part is a little self indulgent, and the actual song part is short lived, it’s filled with such an unavoidably fun flair that you can’t resist. I can’t honestly give an unbiased opinion about ‘Sour Cherry’. It was used on the pretentious teen drama Gossip Girl, leading the song to be the most popular Kills song on iTunes. That destroys me. It’s the equivalent to hearing Animal Collective in Abercrombie. I mean, it’s a good song, just I can’t get that fact off my mind. ‘Alphabet Pony’ is just simply bizarre. There’s no other word for it. It’s a little creepy, but “he’s the alphabet pony”? That’s just odd. ‘What New York Used to Be’ is the best song on the album. The guitar alone sends you goosebumps and the vocals fit so perfectly. The generally sound is just so light, original, and different from what the rest of the album offers. They truly save the best for last, and it’s a shame that so many probably missed this gem. ‘Goodnight Bad Morning’ ends the album so beautifully simple. It’s the most simplistic song on the album, but it still leaves you with something to hold on to. It leaves you satisfied with the idea that the album has closed. As whole, Midnight Boom wasn’t all too bad. It’s really a fun album; every song is catchy and you can easily sing along from beginning to end and have fun doing it. It’s really nothing that much more. A classic? Maybe not, but a really great collection of entertaining songs. They are very good at their chosen style, and should continue on that course. They truly ain’t born typical.
“I remember us writing songs together in my little kitchen and never knowing whether anyone would ever get to hear the fruits of our labors. I still maintain we’ll never be truly popular, but with all that’s happening to us at the moment, it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.” Jamie Hince (Hotel)

U.R.A. Fever

Recommendations: U.R.A. Fever, Tape Song, Hook and Line, What New York Used to Be
The Kills Official Website
Note: This was The Kills review I was talking about way back when. I promised it and I gave it, so go me. I hope you enjoy, and I am still in the works of Arctic Monkeys live at the Apollo. Enjoy!


Ian France said...

GREAT REVIEW! I like the story behind the Kills and how you described their songs. This is also a great album, and you gave it a fair rating. Their music video's are great though. They all have the same type of style as their songs do, and they really work.

Looking forward to Arctic Monkeys Live at the Apollo - I like the beginning to that DVD/

Double Hawk said...

Arnie: The general idea of how they became The Kills is true, but I thought it'd be a stupid enough intro to write it in a cheesy story to work. Yeah, they are very good at keeping it all cohesive.