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CD of The Week

Week of 6/06/16

    The Kills - Ash & Ice (Domino)

    From the electronic blips and sparse guitar notes, the opening of The Kills' fifth album Ash & Ice starts off in new territory. The whole album pushes and pulls between dark blues riffs and heavy drums in an electronic dust. It wraps warm around you like a blanket, bold in its slick production as well as lyrical theme. 'You think you better hold my hair to come and drag me home' sings Alison Mosshart, exclaiming she's a 'hard habit to break.'

    The mood of Ash & Ice is dark, lazy and a bit sultry and sexy as Mosshart's voice weaves in and out of an echo. This is an album that demands attention. The 808s on 'Days of Why and How' color over the vibes that the band is already known for in a playful way. Ash & Ice floats its percussion between elements of tension or release. Guitarist/vocalist Jamie Hince's voice on 'Let It Drop' brings clarity to the current climate in dating culture: 'We could be chasing the wavesâ?¦we could be lassoing the stars but people don't make it easy.' Instead of the beat actually dropping, the guitars come up halfway through and hit you in the face. Not every track is built from electronics and drums. 'Hum For Your Buzz' is a soulful blues song with overdriven guitar and a Hammond b3 organ. 'That Love' is a raw and personal piano ballad affirming what's already passed.

    While Ash & Ice often falls back into a formula, it's the passion that shines throughout it and the palette of sounds they've fit together. It's a record that should be blasted out the car windows at sunset down at the beach.

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    Review by Andrew Johns

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