A Gorgeous Cocktail
One never knows what the finished product will be when one starts on a project. This is also true of The Kills when they started work on their fifth and latest album. Striving for a different sound than their previous albums, Ash & Ice is a changeable, but wonderful addition to the band’s discography, a fantastic product of Allison Mosshart and Jaime Hince’s musical ability and vocal stylings.
The album’s opener and single, “Doing it to Death,” is simple sounding at first with a synthesizer intro into mild guitar riffs, but has massive layers when it hits the chorus, which reaches out and grabs the listener. The song itself possesses a seductive quality that promises the listener will not be disappointed on the rest of the album. Oh, and it is so right. From “Doing it to Death” through “Days of Why And How,” the listener treated to synth based, guitar driven tracks that have a dark, dance-able feel to them and choruses that are thickly, deliciously layered. When the listener finally comes to “Let it drop,” the album twists more upbeat with a tad more guitar than previous accenture. The album closes with rambling, road worthy tracks from “Impossible Tracks” on through “Whirling Eye.” The latter, however, manages to incorporate every aspect of the previous tracks, rambling, synth beated, and an upbeat swing, making it a perfect closer. Lyrics are highly visual throughout the album while still sharing emotions that the listener can relate to, such as in “Days of Why and How” where Mosshart sings, “When I hear your name/Its like a freight train/ Shake Shake Shake Shake/ Shakin’ me off my tracks.”
This album is highly versatile, easily accessible to listeners of other genres or first time listeners, all while not bouncing far from the bands center or style. As a whole, it has style changes laced throughout, keeping the listener intrigued, and lyrics that are good for either singing or just turning off one’s brain from a hard day. If this is not part of your repertoire, why not?