ARTIST: The Kills
TITLE: Keep on Your Mean Side
YEAR RELEASED: 2003
CHART ACTION: #47 UK
SINGLES: Fuck the People, Fried My Little Brains (#55 UK), Pull a U (#80 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Cat Claw and Wait were used in a Criminal Minds episode.
LINEUP: James Hince, Alison Mosshart
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Guitar and drum machine duo make a loud noise that electrifies some in the UK and made Jack White notice them.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: At times grating, never quiet, the Kills kick up a big ol’ racket with their debut. Mosshart’s vocals are powerful, sexy and dark. There’s definitely nods to the White Stripes here, though less controlled and more dark and disturbed. Jack White himself thought they were pretty, pretty good.
I’ve found the Kills to be challenging to listen to at times – though I can and do recognize what they’re trying to do and in the right mood I can dig it. It’s just that the noise and scuzz at times can hide a good song lurking about.
There’s a throwaway answering machine cut, but the rest are keepers for a library. I just have to be in the right mood.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They released an EP earlier in the UK and several songs were re-recorded for this album
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, B-sides and some further silliness that’s not needed.
GRADE: B-: I’m on the fence about them as a whole. Mosshart has some interesting vocals, but at times the noise just washes out everything.