Release Date: Mar 18, 2008
Record label: Domino
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Alternative
In the three years between No Wow and Midnight Boom, it sounds like the Kills discovered that having fun is actually much cooler than searching for haughty minimalist rock perfection. While Keep on Your Mean Side and No Wow's sinuous snarls were about as savagely spare and sexy as it's possible to get, their minimalism bordered on monochromatic. Midnight Boom bleeds color, excitement, and emotion into VV and Hotel's music, transforming it into daring, dirty pop that is unrepentantly glamorous and tender, high-end and trashy, and it glitters like diamonds mixed with broken glass.
Instead of further expanding and enhancing the Kills sound on Midnight Boom, the studiously slouchy duo of Alison “VV” Mosshart and Jamie “Hotel” Hince have gone the other way for an even rawer, more minimal brand of sleaze rock. The most amazing thing about Midnight Boom is that they had to use four different sound engineers (who would probably rather not be named) to create the impression that they cut the whole thing on a boom box between some trash cans in a Brooklyn alley. It sounds grimy enough to suit the lowdown vibe they’re after, but the songwriting is a letdown.
Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart are the Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate of post-punk, preoblivion anti-rock, leaving a trail of blown woofers and sweat in their wake. Intense doesn't begin to describe Midnight Boom, but loop the Russian roulette sequence from The Deer Hunter, splice in some grainy security-cam voyeur-porn, pop it in the Videodrome VCR, and you'll at least get the picture. If the London duo's 2005 sophomore effort, No Wow, was the Badlands crank 'n' squeal of two artists becoming one, then this is the happy aftermath of the killing spree.
When they got together, The Kills were a long-distance relationship, trading tracks back and forth, declaring them cooked when they were still bloody rare. Never even close to being down-to-earth (too much chain smoking, tight pants and nice haircuts), they nonetheless assembled some songs that defied lo-fi aesthetics and worked as plain old hard rock. Early work like "Fried My Little Brains" spins like ZZ Top, minus the fat bottom.