The Kills Ash & Ice

The Kills Ash & Ice
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The Kills' first album since 2009's Blood Pressures, Ash & Ice, finds the band employing the same bare bones power technique Alison "VV" Mosshart and Jamie "Hotel" Hince built over their last four studio efforts.
 
Sticking with the minimalist percussion technique that they've been known for from the beginning, first single "Doing It to Death" is driven by sparse guitar, while the simple instrumentals of  "Heart of a Dog" leave room for Mosshart's pure rock'n'roll vocals to seduce the listener. Easily one of the most badass singers screaming into a microphone today, Mosshart can wail about violent death and romantic love with equal power and emotion.
 
The beginning of Ash & Ice hits the spot nicely, but the album does lag in parts. "Days of Why and How" is a rock ballad diary entry that tries to be romantic and poppy without quite hitting the mark; luckily, the guitar pulls it through with ragged persistence. Mosshart returns to her bluesy drawl in "Hum for your Buzz," but the album really picks up again with the sexy "Siberian Nights," which begins with a climactic, classic horror movie trill before heavy percussion leads to a killer hook that will stick in listeners' heads long past Ash & Ice's end.
 
The Kills' fifth studio album might not bring anything particularly new and groundbreaking to their discography, but it certainly won't disappoint fans. (Domino)