With the release of the first four critically praised albums Keep On Your Mean Side, No Wow, Midnight Boom and Blood Pressures, the indie rock The Kills, comprised of Alison Mossheart, a former member of Florida-based punk band Discount and indie all-star act The Dead Weather (vocals), and Jamie Hince, best known as a member of British rock bands Fiji, Scarfo and Blyth Power, the duo which can trace their origins to when both members’ bands were in tour. As the story goes Mossheart heard Hince playing guitar in an upstairs apartment and was so impressed that they started playing around with some song ideas. Under the influence of Lauren Antonina Herbert, Mossheart and Hince continued to collaborate after Mossheart had returned to the States. Eventually Mossheart relocated to London to collaborate with Hince full-time and as an attempt to break away from their pasts, the members of the duo renamed themselves and came up with a band name.
Interestingly Mossheart and Hince have developed a growing international profile for a sound that’s been a departure from their previous projects — a scuzzy, lo-fi power chord and garage rock-based rock ‘n’ roll sound that’s been compared favorably to the likes of The White Stripes and others, despite the fact that the duo have publicly cited Captain Beefheart, PJ Harvey, LCD Soundsystem, The Velvet Underground, The Fall, Patti Smith, Suicide and Royal Trux as influences on their sound and aesthetic.
Ash and Ice is the duo’s fifth album and the first full-length effort in 5 years, and the album’s first single “Heart Of A Dog” has the duo pairing enormous boom bap drum programming, skittering beats, buzzing electronics and scorching guitar chords, an anthemic hook and Mossheart’s bluesy, sleepless nights with cigarettes and whiskey soaked vocals in a swaggering and arena rock-friendly song that subtly channels Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and others — but with a raw, insistent and urgent carnality. In other words, the song evokes a sweaty and desperate physical need in a way that’s both dangerous and sexy.
The recently released music video for “Heart Of A Dog” was shot and produced by the band’s frequent collaborator and friend Sophie Muller and features the members of the duo being absolutely badasses but with a playful vibe as the video follows the duo goofing off in the middle of the songwriting processes and muscle cars. It’s fun and playful look into the world of a band that eschews music industry cliches as much as humanly possible.
June 16 Madrid, Spain – Mad Cool Festival
June 29 Euch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg – The Rockhal
July 3 Belfort, France – EUROKEENES
July 22 Byron Bay NSW, Australia – Splendour In The Grass
October 1 Leeds, UK – Beckett Students’ Union*