Posts Tagged ‘The Kills’

Although the concept of B-sides has largely disappeared in this digital day and age when Spotify rules listening habits (while also refusing to adequately compensate artists), when Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince started The Kills in 2000 things were very different. The release of physical singles with B-sides was much more commonplace. It was also incredibly prevalent among the punk rock scene in which Mosshart first cut her teeth as a teenager in Florida with punks Discount (still the best band she’s ever been in, but that’s also a story for another day). It’s little surprise, then, that The Kills were big purveyors of the B-side, and have compiled theirs, along with a bunch of other rarities that spans the band’s two-decade career to date, for Little Bastards. While the very nature of a B-side might imply it wasn’t good enough to be released on an album or as a single, that’s not always the case, so to dismiss this as a collection of offcuts for dedicated fans of the band would be harsh. 

Indeed, there are some tracks here that are definitely good enough to warrant their inclusion on actual Kills albums—the scuzzy gloom of “Kiss the Wrong Side” for instance, or the dour celebration of miserablism that is “London Hates You,” which sounds more like Yeah Yeah Yeahs than The Kills. Is that why it’s one of the better tracks here? Quite possibly. That problem with The Kills is the one-dimensionality of their sound. While that other famous male-female bluesy-rock duo The White Stripes—to whom comparisons were rife when The Kills first started, and for valid reasons—found a way to swell and evolve their sound over time (even as they became a parody of themselves), The Kills, on the whole, never quite managed to do the same. 

Certainly, the spooky, made-for-a-Tim-Burton-movie stylings of “I Call It Art” and the electronic strains of “Blue Moon” are examples of the band at its best and most interesting, but they’re offset by the anemic chug of blues standard “Forty Four”—which removes most of the soul of the original—and the band’s rather basic, unsubtle, and emotionless version of “I Put a Spell on You.” Granted, both of those are covers, but both “Weed Killer” and “The Search for Cherry Red”—not to mention the inane “Magazine”—demonstrate the duo’s reliance on affectation and the one-dimensionality at the heart of what they do. Yes, this is a rarities compilation, but unlike the best rarities compilations it doesn’t really offer any insight into the band or their music-making processes. Which means, on the whole, this is best served for those who are already fans of the band. Others probably won’t find much of interest here.

from the collection of b-sides and rarities ‘Little Bastards’, out now on Domino Recordings .

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The Kills Little Bastards

The Kills have announced a new rarities album called “Little Bastards” .

The collection due out December 11th via Domino Recordings includes B-sides and demos that the band made from 2002 through to 2009. Below, check out the video for a previously unreleased demo called “Raise Me” which Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince made around the time of their 2008 album “Midnight Boom”.

Find the Kills’ Little Bastards The songs date back from the band’s first 7-inch singles in 2002 through to 2009. All of the material has been newly remastered for release on 2xLP, CD & Digital and marks the first ever vinyl pressing for some of these tracks.

Other highlights include “I Call It Art” from the Monsieur Gainsbourg revisited covers compilation, the brilliant midnight boom digital bonus track “Night Train,” a blistering performance of “Love Is A Deserter” from an xfm radio session and a handful of classic american roots songs performed with the kind of bruising delivery they’re famous for: Howlin’ Wolfs’ “Forty Four,” Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell On You” and Dock Boggs’ “Sugar Baby.”

The Kills’ last studio LP was 2016’s Ash&Ice.  Mosshart released her first solo spoken word album Sound Wheel in August.

The Kills – “Raise Me (Demo)” from the forthcoming collection of b-sides and rarities ‘Little Bastards’, out 11 Dec 2020 on Domino Recordings.


'I feel like lockdown is forcing us to solve problems where we would have just skipped on beforehand'

Alison Mosshart has seemingly worked with everyone over the years—outside of her day job fronting the blues-rock band The Kills, she’s collaborated with Arctic Monkeys, Primal Scream, Foo Fighters, Gang of Four, and more, in addition to co-founding the supergroup The Dead Weather with Jack White.

But today we’re finally seeing Mosshart stepping out on her own, revealing her first solo material under her given name. “Rise” exhibits the fierce energy and soul of anything she’s been a part of thus far, filling the track’s four-minute runtime with powerful vocals. The track made its debut in the first episode of the Facebook Watch drama Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones, where it was performed by Jordan Alexander, and appeared again today in the show’s final episode.

Alison Mosshart – “Rise”, out now on Domino Record Co.

For their latest attack,The Kills re-wired the circuits of Saul Williams’ “List of Demands (Reparations)”to create a wounded, volcanic, and urgent anthem. An opaque but powerful litany that could incite the most apathetic to action, a wake-up call capable of being interpreted as personal or political. The song comes backed with a dazzling cover of Peter Tosh‘s Steppin’ Razor.

“I always felt envious of the way the ’60s generation shared songs and ideologies. Jimi singing Dylan. Rotary Connection singing Otis Redding. The Stones singing the blues. This is all part of the beauty and power of music and it reverberates deeply in me. All this to say, I’m honored. I liked The Kills before they chose to cover ‘LOD’. If they can feel themselves in that song, it’s because they are as much a part of it as I am”. – Saul Williams

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Black Rooster, is the EP that started it all! Originally released on Dim Mak in 2002, Black Rooster was the start of what’s been an incredible career for Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince of The Kills. Now in their 15th year as a band, The Kills have been looking back and celebrating with a string of anniversary shows, retrospective features, and now this special Black Friday 2017 re-issue of their very first release. Steve Aoki, owner of Dim Mak and another artist who has proven a career with similar staying power, had some words to share on the release of Black Rooster: “Many moons ago, back in 2002, I had to make a decision whether to pursue a Ph.D. Program or continue with my label Dim Mak & after hearing a demo from The Kills and becoming the first American label to release their EP Black Rooster, I knew what path I was going to choose. They took me under their wing and I hit the road with them as their tour manager, merch guy, driver (we all took turns) and label. I’ll never forget that and love Jamie and Alison forever. Thank you for believing in me when not many people gave two shits about Dim Mak and what we were doing. Ride or Die.” Back in press in North America for the first time since it’s limited 2002 release, get your hands on The Kills first ever statement to the world, and the beginning of many wild things to come. The record sleeve featured photos of Mosshart and Hince taken in a photo booth rather than professional photography.

A1 Cat Claw A2 Black Rooster (Fuck And Fight) A3 Wait B1 Dropout Boogie (“Live” At Paint It Black 4/04/02) B2 Gum (Intermission “Red Meat Heart”)

With a career spanning 15 years it is hard to find something The Kills haven’t done. Now we can check another thing off their list, the new trend of VR music videos. Their track ‘Whirling Eye’ has been given the 360 treatment.

It sees Allison Mosshart and Jamie Hince essentially having a bit of fun on their tour as you find yourself spinning the camera around (trying to find Mosshart if you’re like one of our editors). It’s an entertaining pastime which is enhanced by the typically spiky track.

Taken form the last album, and the band’s fifth long player, “Ash and Ice” the track is a Kills classic. Raw guitar, spliced with Mosshart’s demanding vocal. If you like The Kills you’ll like the track and if you like messing around on Youtube, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy the video

Impossible Tracks

Introducing our new video for “! Shot by director Ellis Bahl, at Luna Park – the old weird and wonderful amusement park of dreams and nightmares so iconic to Melbourne Australia. We’d always wanted to shoot there, so on our last tour down under, we took this fine opportunity.
Welcome to off season… winter time, blistering bitter cold, the park to ourselves all day and night. The lights buzzing, the gears cranking, a hallucinatory stream of whiplash and spin. We shot between bursts of monsoon weather and crooked wind, we rode the rides, played the games, and lost ourselves in the mirror house. Enter in, the guts of the park, through the mouth of lights, Luna’s pearly teeth, past the big bad gaze of those glowing blue eyes… Buckle your belts and take the ride on impossible tracks.

Love, The Kills.

Taken from “Ash & Ice” — the brand new album from The Kills, out now.

'I feel like lockdown is forcing us to solve problems where we would have just skipped on beforehand'

Alison Mosshart one half of The Kills, is back with “It Ain’t Water”, her second solo single and video for “It Ain’t Water,” a more measured and moodier track, visually it’s locked into a still frame of a room with Mosshart dancing and swaying to the slow-churned croon. Self-isolated in her Nashville home, Alison Mosshart is happy she still has her landline phone. She’s not getting rid of it any time soon. During a pandemic, you never know what kind of archaic resources might come in handy. It’s not so much a backup tool for communication, but more a piece of nostalgia as everyone reverts back to their roots. “I’m never letting this go,” she says. “It’s wonderful. It’s really a joy to talk to anybody right now. I love it when my phone rings now. We’re all reverting back to our junior high, teenage selves when we used to sit in our bedrooms on the landline and talk to our girlfriends and love every minute of it.”

Following the Covid-19 lockdown, Mosshart finally has some down time—to talk, think, drink wine (lots of wine), and write. “Normally, I don’t have a minute,” says Mosshart

Alison Mosshart wrote the new song last year with Alain Johannes (Queens of the Stone Age, PJ Harvey). She says of working with Johannes, “Working with Alain on “It Ain’t Water” was a blast. He’s such a talent and such a kind person. His mind is wide open. He understands and sees the beauty in imperfection, magic moments, accidents – the soulful human stuff, and the spirited super-human hard to explain stuff that makes a song great. Working with him was an honour, and also, hot damn he can play any instrument like a champ… like he invented the instrument himself. Alain Johannes Is music. More conceptual and planned out, Mosshart says “It Ain’t Water” was easier to pull together since it has very few edits. In brainstorming the video, Mosshart wanted to get the concept in her head on screen, capturing some kind of mirror image approach. “How was I going make it creepy looking, like I’m watching myself in my window?” she says.

“it Ain’t Water” is Mosshart’s second solo outing, arriving after last month’s debut track “Rise”. The melancholic country ballad arrives with another visual created and edited entirely by Mosshart. Mosshart has had time to dig into an archive of songs she’s been writing throughout the past decade. Always laser focused on The Kills, her work with Jack White and The Dead Weather, and other collaborations, all along her 20-year career, Mosshart has been filing away songs that she’s never recorded as a solo artist. “It Ain’t Water” wrote itself in one sitting. “I love when things just magically fall into your lap like that and you’re just in a perfect mood, and it just happens so easily. I wish I had a moment like that every day.”

“Rise” might have been something extracted from The Kills, but has a different coat of lacquer. First written in London in 2013, when Mosshart says she was “missing someone badly,” she had the essence of the song, but put the finishing touches on it when approached for the series. After sending the track to them, stripped down and acoustic, they had the characters do a version of the song, and then circled back to Mosshart to record the song for the series finale and recorded it at the end of 2019 in Los Angeles with Lawrence Rothman (Kim Gordon, Marissa Nadler).

“I got the opportunity to go into a studio and realize that song in the way that I wanted,” says Mosshart. “I’m so glad I got to do that, because I wouldn’t have recorded it otherwise.”

Locked down, Mosshart also started learning video editing and produced her first music video for “Rise” which she compiled using footage from a lowrider car show from 2019 and her own visage. Mosshart wants to dig deeper into her dossier of songs, but her first love is her first band. She’s always had songs that she never thought fit anywhere, so she kept them filed away. “There’s The Kills world or The Dead Weather world, and then there’s this stuff, says Mosshart. “I would love to do more, and I would love a reason to do more.

Check out the original by The Punks 1973, New music from the HBO series VINYL released each week. Mosshart is working through her creative distractions, alone. This summer she will re-release her book “CAR MA” through White’s Third Man Records. Originally released in limited edition, the book is a love letter to automobiles via her collection of photography, art, and writing, and will have an accompanying spoken word audio. “I asked them if I could do spoken word record, which turned into the most crazy thing,” says Mosshart. “It could be a career ruiner, it’s so bizarre.”

Alison Mosshart’s “It Ain’t Water” single is out now. It’ll be released on 7″ vinyl on 31st July with “Rise”,