Words by Wes Foster.
The Kills are a band that I’ve followed, but not exactly devotedly. They’ve been somewhere in my peripheral vision, half an eye has spied what they’re doing as a band while their overall popularity rating has grown. What I have heard of them properly is a mixture of little snippets, most notably ‘Sour Cherry’ and ‘Fried My Little Brains’, and only one of those was played on the night.
From a live perspective, they definitely still have it. They play extremely well, and know how to hold an audience. Their set has everything that it should have, dipping in the middle and allowing there to be space to breathe, rather than trying to be an all out attack. Most of the entertainment comes, as with any dynamic duo, from their onstage chemistry. Not much is directed at the audience, which for better or worse enforces the spectacle of separation.
The problem then comes from the music itself. Time has not been too kind, and though they’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, their music seems to have either not caught up, or is trying too hard to reinvent itself as more laidback and without that same heavy rock influence which made them. Their new tracks are closer to elevator music or banal BBC Radio 2 play than they are suited to a ‘rock’ band. As with everything that was highly held by the NME, an end is in sight, and lyrics of nothingness are on the way out.
The Kills played at Manchester’s Albert Hall on Thursday 29 September, 2016.