Shuffling off the minimalist garage scuzz of their previous records, the Kills deliver a near visionary knock-out on their third full-length and Domino debut, MIDNIGHT BOOM. Like a marriage of Royal Trux and LCD Soundsystem, the half-British, half-American duo deconstruct rock riffs, rescrambling them into catchy sound shards and setting them atop driving club-ready rhythms. The result is a hyper-sexualized glam brew that trawls the gutters outside both the rock club and the discotheque.
Singer VV and guitarist Hotel engage in carnal vocal exchanges played out over breathy calls-to-arms and delectable hooks, making for one of the best trashy rock tandems since Karen O and Nick Zinner first plugged in. "I'm sick of social graces," VV sings on the stand-out anthem "Cheap and Cheerful" and judging by the introductory hacking cough that starts the track, one can take her at her word.
Spin (p.104) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he unsatisfied sneer of singer Alison Mosshart and the black-vinyl blooze riffs of guitarist Jamie Hince swagger with debauched ‚lan."
Entertainment Weekly (p.59) - "[T]heir octane-edged atmosphere remains: The dozen blues-rock dirges build hypnotically from the raw elements of stripped-down percussion, sludgy guitar riffs, and singing-through-a-dirty-gym-sock vocals."
Uncut (p.93) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The Kills needed to pull something new out of their hat. Using crunched beats that owe more to hip hop/R&B than garage rock, adding bright white to their palette, they've done just that."
Q (Magazine) (p.108) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]heir primal blues frequently reference a darker White Stripes, while Alison Mosshart's vocals echo an on-form PJ Harvey..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.100) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[With] elusive, intriguing, jagged slithers of melodic hook lingering on the taste buds. Their lyrics, too, are enigmatic...like jottings from a frazzled night owl's notebook."
Blender (Magazine) (p.80) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Behind the pouts are riffs that could draw real blood and sharp, broken-down beats that in combination sound like a malfunctioning sampler chopping up Jack White."
URB (Magazine) (p.106) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he sultry burn of MIDNIGHT BOOM makes the duo seem more continental than ever....The duo's most accomplished release to date. An album that one suspects will age extremely well."