Liquid Room, Edinburgh, Tuesday 15 April
Being as cool as The Kills must be exhausting at times. They have thrived since they emerged amid the flurry of ‘The’ bands that brought us, among others, The Strokes. Happily, however, they’ve surpassed their lethargic contemporaries and are here with their third album, Midnight Boom. Its only one month old, but it boasts some of the sexiest sounds around.
No doubt about it, there has always been something sweaty and sticky about their minimalist garage-blues, but on Midnight Boom they have managed to make it sound like a wet dream come true.
After support These New Puritans ironically proved that a lot of bands today are making their drummers redundant, Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart highlighted this like they always have with their pre-programmed beats. One more hipster on that stage would have been one hipster too many anyway, but even when the dandy facade seems to wither at times, it becomes clear that they actually have a bunch of quality tunes to lean on. Like Midnight Boom’s first offering and tonight’s opener, ‘URA Fever’, whose dirty groove and handclaps almost should be X-rated.
On other tracks such as ‘Getting Down’, they could easily have ended up sounding like clowns, but rather they appear through the smoke as a badly lubricated indie rock machine. And I mean that in the best possible way. Especially when Mosshart borrows tricks from Peaches on ‘What New York Used to Be’, or when Hince pulls out the harmonica on the Velvet Underground-like ‘Wait’.
Still, it is their debut that contains some of their most pungent material to date, and’ Fried My Little Brains’ remains the little golden gem it was six years ago. Three albums in, however, The Kills have a seriously strong repertoire -- enough to make most contenders sound like The Muppets.