Midnight Boom

Studio Album by released in 2008

Midnight Boom review

The Kills' minimalist music

It is always interesting to see the former members of different bands forming a new collective and try their best to sound in a different way. Former Blyth Power and Scarfo guitarist Jamie Hince and former Discount vocalist Alison Mosshart American-British met at the end of 90's and after parting with their bands formed duo The Kills. Today this pair is known for the minimalist music they make using a drum machine even on live shows and the lo-fi sound of their first albums, i.e. the debut Keep on Your Mean Side and the sophomore effort No Wow. Although at first heavily compared to The White Stripes the musicians never refused their ideas keeping creating music confidently and have gradually found their niche on the world indie scene. This year The Kills' third album Midnight Boom marks a slight stylistic change – this time the duo has turned to more distinct and catchier pop tunes and although the lyrics of its songs is still built around original metaphors it now contains more of understandable ideas and messages.

Midnight Boom: something bold, saucy and piercing

The duo has named Spank Rock's producer Alex Epton as the main arrangement contributor on Midnight Boom, but it is not the arrangements that attract the main attention here. Guitar and vocals are as usually at the first place because this is The Kills and it has never sounded that contagious managing to get most unbelievable sounds from the drum machine. The first single U.R.A. Fever opening the record immediately conquers with the guitar party provided by Hince, and one of the album's lyrical highlights Cheap and Cheerful pleases with a rhythm that makes one sing along with the singer. A great bass line on Getting Down profitably combines with the breaking drums and whispering vocals of the duo, and the record's evident leader is Last Day of Magic about the nature cataclysms, pleasing both with a catchy chorus and the performance of both the musicians. The most penetrating vocals provided by Alison are on songs Hook and Line and Alphabet Pony, whereas squeaking sounds on M.E.X.I.C.O. make it the most experimental composition here. The album closes with Goodnight Bad Morning, a surprisingly soulful and pleasant guitar-and-piano ballad without any special audio effects and lyrically the most direct and sensual song on Midnight Boom. Yet it actually fails to soften the impression of something bold, saucy and piercing that the album on the whole produces on the listeners.

The Kills's barest and rawest sound ever

Never striving for changing its reputation of self-confident and startling but fashionable musicians that it has gained after the two previous works The Kills, however, keep finding new unusual sound combinations completely preserving chosen initially manner of performance. Record Midnight Boom whose title reflects the time of the moon rising when everybody goes to bed, continues the chain of its albums being simultaneously a product of the same instruments and also somewhat changing the direction of The Kills's music. On the one hand the duet has never come that close to the pop genre; on the other hand, it has presented to us its barest and rawest sound ever. Some are sure that these changes, even not that significant, have partially to do with the fact that Jamie Hince has recently married top model Kate Moss. Whether they do or not we are not to judge that but it is worth admitting that work Midnight Boom which is on the whole rather sullen is not devoid of charm, and the light sadness on the final composition lets us think that the personal life events are probably not left behind the scene completely, but apparently it is the last thing that worries The Kills itself.