The Kills Resuscitate Real Rock ’n’ Roll

BYRON BLOCKER
El Vaquero Staff Writer

God bless the rebirth of underground rock ‘n’ roll. After years of waiting and wanting the rock fans, fed up with the pop and rap/rock scene, have seen the light.

The Kills are quickly bringing the sound of the Velvet Undergrounds peircing guitars back into the hearts of adolecents while driving yesteryears generations into the abyss of obsaleteness.

With humming amps and a cheap 8-track recorder these two kids, spanning two seperate continents, are reminding the youth of today what can be accomplished without the privelege of a recording contract, a publisicst, or an agent.

The Kills are made up of two undeniable forces in the future of rock media. VV and Hotel Kills, the rock psuedonyms of this up and coming barrage of sonic indulgence, are taking the simple force of a drum machine and a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier into a league rarely scene on either the American or British music scenes. Infusing sounds of the great David Bowie, Patti Smith, Herschler and the less impressive PJ Harvey, these two are headed towards rock fame.

Haven’t heard of the Kills yet? Give yourself a year and I can personally gaurantee you will know the names of VV and Hotel on the same level as The Strokes and the quite, pathetic Fred Durst (A.K.A. MC Fred). These cats are merging styles as furocious as the indestructable John Cale with simple chord progessions the likes of 50s rock/pop legends Buddy Holly and George Newman.

The Kills debut album, “Keep On Your Mean Side,” begins with the hypnotic track, “Superstition,” which brings the tempo of the album to a slow boiling point, in which the listener can only grip his (or her) headphones and wait in anticipation of the destructive track two, “Cat Claw.”

It almost sounds like The Kills don’t really want you to get past the first song, as if they’re saying, “Hey, if you can’t stand this, you don’t deserve the rest of the album”.

The group pounds their way through track two into the unforgetable “Pull A U,” which beats to a charming unending “four on the floor” pulse that allows VV to really show her feminine side while maintaining her “rock-chick” hardness.

VV’s voice echoes shrewdley a strong hint of early Patti Smith imposed on a late CBGB scene “I-Don’t-Care-If-You-Like-It” vibe with all the pretense and rawness of the latest White Stripes albumn.

The last song being “Gypsy Death & You,”showcases the duo breaking it down into the standard five dominant descending chord progression, sounding very much like a generic 1954 pop tune, riddled with bad reception.

VV’s throaty voice echoes the call, “If that’s the way you feel, then that’s the way you feel,” reminding this reviewer of Lou Reeds biting “Take No Prisoners” of 1978.

Finally the band hits the tenth track, “Wait,” which takes on the AC/DC, “High Voltage” electric organ (sounding much more like a bagpipe) and brings their musical prowess up even one more notch, supposing they really are creating (as opposed to immitating).

The album finishes off with the slow, very much Bowie-esque anthem “Monkey,” which speaks briefly of the feelings of addiction, not neccacarilly a new topic for rock, and delivers the striking line, “The monkey on my back/ Makes me react like that.” This almost childish line weilds a uniquely simple and yet very telling narrative at the same time; not very common in the age of Lincoln Park and Disturbed.

The Kills are an up and coming phenomenon, making their unique brand of psuedo-elctronic trash rock into the next generation of “screw-pop” rock fancy.

What’s to come next from this intriguing duo is vague and at the same time highly anticipated by this reviewer.