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Keep On Your Mean Side (Deluxe Edition)

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Editors’ Notes

When American Alison Mosshart (guitar/vocals, a.k.a. VV) started trading song tapes across the Atlantic with London-based Jamie Hince (guitar/drums/vocals, a.k.a. Hotel), little did they know it was the beginning of a particularly fertile and robust musical relationship. Following their dirty-blues laced 2002 EP, Black Rooster (three of those songs are here in new forms), the duo released their full-length debut for Domino, Keep On Your Mean Side, and a more appropriate title would be hard to find. VV’s canny blend of sinewy snarl and purr set against gritty, clanging, grinding guitars is taut and lean, and everything rock ’n’ roll should be: thrilling, menacing, and a tad bestial. If you have a soft spot for the Velvet Underground, Jon Spencer or PJ Harvey (and especially all three), the Kills are for you. Note: The original release has 12 tracks; the Deluxe Edition offers five extras, including the hilarious interlude “Gum” and the pulsating “Sugar Baby,” as seductive as “Cat Claw” or “Fried My Little Brains.”

Customer Reviews

The Kills friggen kill.

I’m a HUGE fan of The White Stripes & Jack White. When Jack came out with a new band, The Dead Weather, I was eager to hear. I thought it was merely okay, but something intrigued me about the lead female singer, Alison Mosshart (a.k.a. VV), whom I’d never heard of before. Turns out she came from a band called The Kills which has a similar (not identical, just vaguely similar) dynamic as The White Stripes: one dude and one chick, garage rock blues, etc. I listened to this entire album and loved it. But their dynamic also reminds me of another power duo. Jamie Hince’s (a.k.a. Hotel) musical style is rather similar to one Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fame: the bluesy guitar work somewhat, but particularly his voice. While Alison does not exactly sing like Sting, her higher range vocal compliments Jamie’s lower range much as how Sting’s does for Mark Knopfler on “Money for Nothing.” That dynamic, mixed with very raw electric guitar sounds, mixed with very cool and totally unique beats, The Kills friggen kill. If you’re into that sort of thing, download this album. (I’m not as impressed with their newest album Midnight Boom, though I really like “Sour Cherry” and “Last Day of Magic.”) I see this is considered the “Deluxe Edition” and appears to have five more songs than the non-deluxe, so definitely go with this one (especially considering as of now the price is identical). Besides, I see the reviews from the non-deluxe have a number of listener complaints that iTunes messed up the order of the songs. Don’t know if they corrected it there, but the order on this deluxe edition is spot on as far as I can tell.

channeling beefheart

Great Captain Beefheart Cover!

Love it love it

I absolutely love this album but I just realized that she sound like polly Jean Harvey a lil to much...


Formed: 1998 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The bluesy punk duo the Kills consist of vocalist/guitarist VV, aka Alison Mosshart, formerly of the Florida punk band Discount, and drummer/guitarist/vocalist Hotel, aka Jamie Hince. After Discount ended in 2000, VV began exchanging tapes with the London-based Hotel through the mail, but both of them felt hindered by this method, so VV crossed the Atlantic so the duo could write faster. In spring of 2001, they issued a self-released demo that showcased their gritty, sexy sound and earned favorable...
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