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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "BLOOD PRESSURES" CONTAINS SOME OF THE KILLS BEST MATERIAL
The Kills return with their fourth album "Blood Pressures" which is the follow up to 2008's "Midnight Boom". So whats happened in the three years since "Midnight Boom"? Well Alison Mosshart spent the last couple of years singing and touring with The Dead Weather(jack white) and Jamie Hince has spent most of his time with Fiancée supermodel Kate Moss! There was even...
Published on April 5, 2011 by nin/ja77

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost but not quite
I really wanted to like this album. It has some great moments. I would describe it as having a very bluesy influence (added to their previous sound). But ultimately album has a little too much bang-bang boom-boom whine-whine. The kills have always been orientated that way, but instead of coming across as the slick and cool, it now comes across as whiny. Really, really...
Published on September 30, 2011 by TRK


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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "BLOOD PRESSURES" CONTAINS SOME OF THE KILLS BEST MATERIAL, April 5, 2011
This review is from: Blood Pressures (Audio CD)
The Kills return with their fourth album "Blood Pressures" which is the follow up to 2008's "Midnight Boom". So whats happened in the three years since "Midnight Boom"? Well Alison Mosshart spent the last couple of years singing and touring with The Dead Weather(jack white) and Jamie Hince has spent most of his time with Fiancée supermodel Kate Moss! There was even some doubt a while back if we would get another Kills record as Alison seemed happy enough to continue with The Dead Weather(not that the dead weather have broken up), but thankfully we have got another record as "Blood Pressures" features some of The Kills best work to date!

Where as last record "Midnight Boom" saw The Kills adopt a much more pop friendly sound than its two predecessors "Keep You On The Mean Side" and "No Wow", "Blood Pressures" is a lot darker, dirtier and heavier! That was evident when we first got to hear new single "Satellite" which is one of the heaviest tracks The Kills have ever done, the guitars are gritty, the chorus is big and bluesy. It was now clear that Alison's time in The Dead Weather is probably responsible for this new sound. The Kills set their intentions early on the album with opener "Future Starts Slow" which has a big drum sound(it starts out like the yeah yeah yeahs track "Mystery Girl" just heavier) and a shared vocal between Mosshart and Hince, It does not sound like a track done by two people and a drum machine, Hince's guitar playing sounds great also.

Track three "Heart Is A Beating drum" is one of the stand out tracks on the album that has a great blues riff and features a ping pong sound in the background that is also heard in "Nail In My Coffin" which is a song that wouldn't have been out of place on "Midnight Boom" and features loads of "oh oh oh oh oh's". Jamie goes it alone on the subdued "Wild charms" which works as more of an intro into "DNA" which is again grittier and heavier than The Kills ever were before. The ballad "The Last Goodbye" sung brilliantly with passion by Mosshart is a wonderful song that will probably see a lot of camera phone action.

The album finishes with "Pots And pans" which is a song you can imagine Jack White would be proud of. "Blood Pressures" shows real progress on The Kills part, especially on Mosshart's(this is her fourth full record since 2008) part as she sounds like her time away with The Dead Weather has taught her everything doesn't have to be minimal. This is really a great album by The Kills their most ambitious to date and on this form you can only see them evolve more!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I love you, just not the way you want...", April 17, 2011
By 
ADRIENNE MILLER (Murfreesboro, TN.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blood Pressures (Audio CD)
"Blood Pressures" by The Kills is another amazing, creative and catchy album from rock/punk duo, Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince. After their third, groundbreaking album - "Midnight Boom", I pondered how these two smart musicians would be able to top that incredible feat? Well, I am more than happy to say that "Blood Pressures" was definitely worth the wait! The opening track, "Future Starts Slow" is the strongest track hands down. The song has a killer hook and you can't help but sing along: "No longing for the moonlight, no longing for the sun, no longer will I curse the bad I've done..." And just like their previous album - there is not one song that I skip. This album is more diverse and more traditional rock. On the song, "The Last Goodbye" we get to hear Alison's sensitive side - such a beautiful and tender ballad. "Baby Says" sounds like a cross between a '60s girl group song and a '80s new wave song. "Heart is a Beating Drum" and "Nail in My Coffin" are some of the other standout tracks. "You Don't Own the Road" is just pure, sweaty fun with Jamie rocking out on his distorted, blistering guitars. And then by the last track, "Pots and Pans" - I wasn't quite sure if this was a break-up kind of song or a twisted, sick love song? All I know is that quirky song is pure magic with Alison's sexy voice repeating the last lyric over and over: "These are the days we'll never forget when the dawn, dawns on you." So what that in mind, I highly recommend this pitch-perfect album...enjoy!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Kills Kill It Again!, June 12, 2011
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This review is from: Blood Pressures (Audio CD)
Have their first three records, and each one is awesome. They have really proved their greatness with Blood Pressures. More polished than their previous efforts without sacrificing their trademark gritty sound. Though I would love them to retain their indie-ness, and be my favorite little secret, but this album is going to put them on the map. If you haven't heard them yet, you soon will. And if you enjoy their music, be SURE to catch them live! Spinetinglingly amazing. Alison Mosshart is a force to be reckoned with.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Kills - Blood Pressures, April 6, 2011
This review is from: Blood Pressures (Audio CD)
It's a tired truism to get back to what's comfortable when life gets a bit too hectic, but the Kills' Blood Pressures is that steadfast example that proves a cliché can still be useful. The duo of Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince have had enough distractions over the course of the past few years that one could tell it was starting to affect their work - 2008's Midnight Boom was certainly enjoyable, but its pop leanings and introduction of synths strayed from what the two did best. Mosshart seemed more focused on her work in the Dead Weather, and Hince was probably a bit preoccupied with fiancée Kate Moss and the tabloid frenzy that accompanies any Moss move. Looking back on it now, it all seems laughable. Blood Pressures is the band's most coherent, consistent work to date, an album painted in gritty black-and-white blues and Mosshart's sexy, venomous vocals.

The Kills have always been steady, a band to count on for a good time when similar bands like the White Stripes or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club were surrounding themselves with side projects or sucking, respectively. Blood Pressures is everything the White Stripes wished they could be after White Blood Cells - underground blues rock with an effortless edge of cool and an almost oppressively dark atmosphere, largely provided by Mosshart's soulful vocals. It's simple, trashy guitars and thudding drums, but it's also powerful, kicking you with a bludgeoning array of riffs and hooks buried under distorted noise. It's old school blues, and with a description like that it's easy to slap a label on them, one that might read "Black Keys with a chick." That would be doing the band a disservice; Mosshart and Hince would prefer to punch you in the stomach with their suffocating blend of blues than join you in celebrating the old delta.

"Future Starts Slow" lays down the blueprint, thunderous drums and a menacing guitar line underlying Mosshart's vocals and Hince's faint harmony, a perfect duet of sorrow: "You can holler, you can wail / you can swing, you can flail / you can **** like a broken sail / but I'll never give you up." An amazing thing about the Kills is how two people can create such a racket. The wrenching guitars on "Satellite," followed by the anthemic chorus of "Heart Is A Beating Drum," proceeded by the cavernous drums and buzz saw chords on "Nail In My Coffin;" it all makes for a shitkicking storm of bluesy rock, one where Hince's wisp of a solo, "Wild Charms" is practically necessary to cut back on the tension.

It's that first half of the record that establishes the Kills as underrated masters of their genre, but it's the latter collection of songs that proves there's still ground to be covered. Drawing equally from Americana roots rock ("You Don't Own The Road") and distorted, haunted new wave ("Baby Says") as easily as they do from blues, Blood Pressures comes off as a complete record, one that rightfully shouldn't sound so unique and the sum of its parts as it ends up doing. It even makes a misfire like the melancholic Edith Piaf-esque ballad "The Last Goodbye" a sweet, inconsequential self-indulgence. When the Kills finally get around to the slow burning stomp of "Pots and Pans," the listener is almost as exhausted as Mosshart and Hince sound, whether it be from exhausted passion or ear drum fatigue. But there's nothing on Blood Pressures as invigorating as the last couple minutes, where Hince turns things up in a static-filled roar and Mosshart wistfully finishes "these are the days that we'll never forget / when the dawn dawns on you." In retrospect, no other song is better suited to close out a record so mired in familiar tradition and influences, yet one bursting at the seams with its own edgy, smoldering personality. Mosshart and Hince may have a lot more on their plate, but the Kills have never sounded so refreshingly vital.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steady progression, April 23, 2011
This review is from: Blood Pressures (Audio CD)
I've seen The Kills live and they are great but this album (most of it) blew my socks off! I am SO happy to see the band growing in the right direction. It shows talent. But after being in a band with Jack White how can you not grow in the right direction. If you've never heard The Dead Weather I HIGHLY suggest you do. It's Allison's secong band with Jack White. Great great album this is! Thanks KILLS!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars UPDATE - from 3 to 4 stars, August 15, 2011
This review is from: Blood Pressures (Audio CD)
The Kills - Blood Pressures (2011)

4 out of 5 helpful votes based on the three star review.

original review - "The Kills' previous album, MIDNIGHT BOOM, is loaded with super-cool, super-catchy pop songs and it's the only one of their albums that I really like. BLOOD PRESSURES isn't nearly as catchy. The songs are less energetic and they're full of standard chord changes. Quite simply, they're just not as good. However, there's lots of cool sounding guitars loaded with tremolo and they really fill up the speakers in a good way. I would agree with other reviewers that the best song is the first one. It's got a very simple but effective riff and it sounds very cool. Other highlights include "DNA" and "Damned If She Do". The last track is pretty cool too, a slow bluesy stomp that turns into a very cool sounding guitar attack. The other songs just don't do much for me. It's not that I want the Kills to keep making MIDNIGHT BOOM clones over and over...but quite honestly I won't be spending much time in the future listening to BLOOD PRESSURES."

UPDATE: Well I did end up spending more time with this album and it's a lot better than I gave it credit for. No, it's not MIDNIGHT BOOM part 2; this is something different, something heavier, a bit darker too. I guess I needed time to let it sink in before I could really get into it, and I have to admit I really was hoping for something more along the lines of MIDNIGHT BOOM (which I reviewed and rate *****). Yes, there may be a few familiar chord changes on BLOOD PRESSURES in a few places, but I made far too much of that. The Kills have their own thing going and they're great, original songwriters. Jamie Hince is no virtuoso but he gets some killer sounds from his guitar, employing all kinds of new effects and amps. He also produced the album and deserves props for that as well. Even the CD booklet is super cool, featuring all the lyrics (which are actually readable) and art they made themselves.

Breakdown!

"Future Starts Slow" - The opening track really is epic, especially the guitar, with Jamie and co-lead singer Alison Mosshart dueting on some killer Kills vocal melodies. *****

"Satellite" - seemed like an underwhelming single at the time but it's really grown on me. It opens with weird guitar sounds (made with an Echoplex?) before it launches into a marching, dreary song that laments a love that overdosed - or that's my interpretation, you may have your own. Thankfully, the lyrics to each song are in the booklet. I do like this song in the context of the album as opposed to it being a single, even though the "oh, oh, ohs" are quite dreamy. ****1/4

"Heart Is a Beating Drum" - is pretty catchy and upbeat even if the chorus slightly wears out its welcome by the end. I love the use of bouncing ping pong balls as percussion. ***1/2

"Nail In My Coffin" - A stomping cut with wild guitar effects, this song sports more ping pong balls and another repetitive chorus - "Could be a nail in my coffin/ And I don't need another one." Like everything on the album, this song oozes cool. ***1/2

"Wild Charms" - is only about a minute long, featuring Jamie singing alone. It's a slow song with trippy lyrics, some piano and slowly shuffling drums. ****

"DNA" - "Wild Charms" segues directly into this powerful, sizzling track, one of the best on the album, some of the best lyrics too - "Love love love til you've got enough/ Dance dance dance if you've got no love around you..." *****

"Baby Says" - is a laid-back, sing-songy tune, kinda melancholy with some sweet tremolo guitar. Not bad, but it's my least favorite track. ***

"The Last Goodbye" - sounds tailor-made to be the last track but maybe that was too obvious for the Kills. This is a gorgeous song, played with a muted piano and accompanied by orchestration. Beautifully and sadly sung by Alison. She's clearly having a hard time saying goodbye despite cold hard evidence that she needs to. *****

"Damned If She Do" - is a vaguely menacing, kinda slinky song about a woman who is apparently a real piece of work. It's got this cool sort of 60s feel at the chorus - "She come alive when she dyin'/ She come alive on her last legs..." ****

"You Don't Own The Road" - This one is a chugging rocker and, of course, it sounds very cool even if it isn't the strongest song in this collection. It's got plenty of Jamie Hince's muscular guitar pyrotechnics. ***3/4

"Pots and Pans" - stomps out a steady beat as folky yet trippy acoustic guitar and melodic vocals unfold into a sweet sounding desperation. Jamie sounds like he's plucking the strings HARD. By the end a wall of climactic guitars has built up and then they slowly fade as Alison chants, "These are the days we'll never forget/ When the dawn, dawns on you." ****
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply fantastic, June 10, 2011
This review is from: Blood Pressures (Audio CD)
a fine work in a progressive discography. subtle in its sexually aggressive riffs with more raw yet polished vocals than on the kills previous releases, blood pressures is fluid and full of guitar-glitchy splendor and is an evolutionary delight. cheers to alison n jamie! and thank u for the adrenaline punch.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Taking over for The White Stripes, April 12, 2011
By 
J. Loudon (Nashville, TN) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Blood Pressures (Audio CD)
The Kills are an alternative garage punk duo comprised of Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince who both share vocal and guitar work while splitting up the remaining instruments.

Although The Kills' third record, 2008's "Midnight Boom," was considered a crowning achievement by many critics, The Kills' popularity received its biggest boost when Alison Mosshart joined up with Jack White and friends to form The Dead Weather in 2009. This partnership not only introduced Jack White's massive fan base to a band they should have already been familiar with, but also introduced elements of White's musical styling into Mosshart's own songwriting, which is frequently apparent on "Blood Pressures."

With The White Stripes announcing their end just a few short months ago, The Kills seem primed to take over the blues-based co-ed duo crown; it's more prestigious than the title suggests. The opening beat of "Future Starts Slow," is reminiscent of Radiohead's "There There," but as soon as the guitar comes in, there is a much grittier edge to the music.

In order for a two piece band to work, there has to be a certain magic between the two performers. Although Mosshart and Hince are able to maintain heightened levels of both energy and focus, like The White Stripes, where their balance shines brightest is when they sing together. Mosshart's voice stands out more in the mix, but Hince can frequently be found an octave below, fortifying each word.

No strangers to a dark sound, the first four tracks on "Blood Pressures" offer up some of the catchiest tunes The Kills have ever released, but the distorted tones backing the vocals in the mix add a sinister element to the overall feel. "Wild Charms" offers a brief glimpse of light to the set list, but "DNA" quickly pulls listeners back to the dark side.

Although the first third of the album stands out as the main source of feature singles, The Kills' display a wider array of moods as the album progresses. "The Last Goodbye" is a solemn, piano-driven tune completely removed from their familiar style. "The Last Goodbye" could have easily been used to quietly close the album, but "Damned If She Do" pulls the listener back into the thick of things; reminiscent of the change between "Wild Charms" and "DNA." Perhaps The Kills meant to look at their album as three movements connected by a common overall sound, but the resulting album never gets tiresome partially thanks to these changes.

The Kills' fourth album closes with "Pots and Pans." The opening drone may remind listeners of Robert Plant's cover of Los Lobos' "Angel Dance" from a year ago, but as the music marches on, The Kills seem to be offering up a hint of things to come. An acoustic guitar slowly distorts until an electric downbeat takes over halfway through the song. The track works so well, it's hard to believe The Kills' next project won't see more frequent blends of acoustic and electric instrumentation.

Similar Artists: The Duke Spirit, The White Stripes

Track Suggestion: "Future Starts Slow"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crunchy, Garagey, Awesome-y, September 4, 2013
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This review is from: Blood Pressures (MP3 Music)
Blood Pressures could be the magnum opus (for now) of the kills. It vies for the number one spot of their albums as a powerful follow up to Midnight Boom. This album starts off strong with a series of catchy-as-hell songs with strong hooks that you won't soon forget. After that the album "settles down", that being a relative term. Even the less aggressive sound of the remaining songs on this album shows the talent of these two musicians.

Allison Mosshart's vocals take on a more powerful sound throughout the album and Jamie Hince continues to shred guitar strings like they insulted his sainted mother. The smoother, more chilling tones of Mosshart's singing could be attributed to her time with The Dead Weather, but probably has more to do with her simply having more experience and thus confidence in leading a song or even an album.

TL;DR Buy this, you won't soon forget it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing constructive to add., April 17, 2013
This review is from: Blood Pressures (Audio CD)
The Kills are my absolute favorite band, and this is the worst album they've released so far. Of course, they're so good it's some of the best music I've ever heard. My MO approaching their music was that I originally liked one song off Midnight Boom, then slowly grew to love the their oeuvre, with the exception of 'Hook and Line', which I merely tolerate.

This album provides the heaviest, richest and least idiosyncratic sound yet (reminiscent of the Black Keys). I would rank all the songs fairly equally, with 'Nail In My Coffin' being unequivocally worst, and 'Baby Says' the likely winner.

If you don't like it at first, be patient! It took me two years to appreciate the entire album.
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Blood Pressures
Blood Pressures by The Kills (Audio CD - 2011)
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