Like most contemporary duos, the Kills are both constrained and liberated by their format: They need to draw their energy from within a small unit, but also channel it out into something bigger than the sum of their limited parts. Some duos choose to evolve by super-sizing with guests, but on their third full-length, Alison “VV” Mosshart and Jamie “Hotel” Hince have chosen to make minimal adjustments that resonate maximally. The most stunning of them is that the Kills have discovered their inner groove. (No wonder Spank Rock's XXXChange helps out on production on a few tracks.) It still sounds like there's only two of them — they haven't suddenly gone orch-pop or anything — but many of the tracks have a great pulse that's all the more sexy for not being in-your-face (just check out “Cheap and Cheerful,” “Last Day of Magic,” “Hook and Line” or “Alphabet Pony”). And almost of all them throw in a simple, deadly break: well-placed handclaps or a sudden acceleration that hurtles them to the finish line. “Hook and Line,” for instance, is a lesson in how to wring out maximum effect out of a relatively simple tune; it brings to mind the ruthless efficiency of PJ Harvey's debut, paired with the brooding sexiness of early Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Brilliantly rejuvenating themselves, the Kills demonstrate how much you can do with very little.
By Annie Zaleski on 12.04.14 in Features
A list of musicians who found greater notoriety with their later projects.
By Andrew Parks on 10.29.14 in News
The Dead Weather have decided to give last summer's exclusive Third Man Vault single a digital release and share its A-side in full via YouTube. The guitar-guided barroom blitz of "Buzzkill(er)" b/w "It's Just Too Bad" c...
By Marc Hogan on 02.27.15 in News
The music will keep playing without commercial interruption. For now. On Thursday, the U.S. telecom watchdog voted to adopt tougher rules that would treat broadband internet service as a public utility, like landline...
By J. Edward Keyes on 02.26.15 in Features
When we launched Wondering Sound in March of last year, I wrote that the site's purpose was to be "a place where smart, opinionated writers can craft rich, detailed pieces for curious readers." As mission statements go,...