The Kills

Although the duo of VV and Hotel of the Kills denied their romance ad nauseam in the aftermath of their debut, Keep on Your Mean Side, the bluesy garage crackling on the disc revealed an undeniably electric sexual spark between them. This intangible undercurrent is missing from their follow-up album, No Wow, although the fundamental elements that made the debut so seductive remain. Grinding guitars shudder with distortion, VV emotes with a PJ Harvey-like snarl, and brief pulses of electronic rhythms dot the sleazy rock landscape. The difference here is that the intensity of No Wow isn't driven by raw physical need, but an emotional one. While this renders a handful of songs somewhat nondescript, others are far more successful because of this nuance -- like the softened "Rodeo Town," the offspring of a Pretenders/Jesus and Mary Chain love affair.


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