Back from working with Jack.
Alison from The Kills has been branching out of late and joined Jack White in his minutes off from The White Stripes and The Raconteurs in forming a new band, The Dead Weather. One of the first two songs they unleashed on the world was a cover of ‘Are Friend’s Electric?’ by Gary Numan which has set the tone for that band. Around the ‘Black Balloon’ e.p. release, there is another cover for Moorhart to lend her vocals to but it couldn’t be more different if it tried. Sure, Willie Nelson wrote the song but ‘Crazy’ is one of Patsy Cline’s signature tunes and to be fair to The Kills, they keep it pretty genuine to the Cline version. It’s a bright and breezy acoustic strum with Moorhart getting the chance to show she is more than just a scuzzy rock n roller. It fits in neatly with the tone and feel of ‘Black Balloon’, a more sedate release from the act's recent album which sees them in more reflective mood. It may not be the full energy assault associated with the duo but it gives both members the chance to shine in a different way.
And although Mosshart has been busy with extra band work and Jamie has been living life in the tabloids, the duo has been beavering away with new tracks for B-sides and recent acoustic performances for iTunes. Fans of the earlier work, and lets face it, everyone likes the earlier work, will be interested to check out the version of ‘Kissy Kissy’, originally on the bands debut release but presented here in a very different mood. It retains the melodious interplay between Hince and Moorhart but the anger and aggression is gone, turning into a laid-back twanging joust between the two. On first few listens it seems fresh and worth re-imagining but over time, it is likely to leave the listener pining for the garage fuzz of The Kills in their prime.
The best thing about these tracks is the fact that they have been used to freshen the bands sound up and present a different side of them to their audience. Too few bands, take advantage of releases like this nowadays to cast some light on other parts of the penmanship and talent, so it is great to see The Kills take a chance. As a long time fan of The Kills, this release doesn’t quite grab the heart in the manner of their low down and dirty moves but it’s a really good mini-collection and a welcome addition to their arsenal. You can only hope though that The Kills keep on their mean side for the long run.