The Kills

No Wow

The Kills have spent much time cultivating an image of mystery and danger to accompany their low-fidelity travails, spitting out four-letter words and hurling clods of poisoned soil upon the sacred earth of the blues genre. The two members, VV (a.k.a. Alison Mosshart) and Hotel (Jamie Hince), found a drum machine, ratcheted up the attitude and worshipped at the altar of Polly Jean Harvey and X’s John and Exene. The duo preached their word with intensity and nerve on the first album, Keep On Your Mean Side, an exhilarating, churning mess of rock and roll rife with passion and promise that few bands communicate so early on, if ever. Unfortunately, the band sadly prophesizes its sophomore album’s effect on the world with its title—No Wow. Where Keep on Your Mean Side scratched and clawed, its successor has the less-than-remarkable energy of a “dead-fish” handshake. What a huge disappointment to follow up such a perfect album with a work so lacking in enthusiasm and interest.