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No Wow CD
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THE KILLS No Wow (2005 UK Domino label 12-track CD album including 20-page picture sleeve booklet with lyrics The second album from the London based duo recorded in just three months in the sleepy town of Benton Harbour Michigan this releasesees the band continue with the stripped back indie rock sound of their acclaimed debut Keep On Your Mean Side taking inspiration from their quick rise into the media spotlight WIGCD149)
Born out of a transatlantic writing partnership that saw Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince aka VV and Hotel exchange tapes via airmail, it perhaps makes sense that The Kills should be a thing of meticulous care and economy. Second album No Wow is perhaps even more stripped and lean than its predecessor, 2003's Keep On Your Mean Side, peeling back the skin on tracks like "Dead Road 7" and "At The Back Of The Shell" to reveal little more than the propulsive hiss of a drum machine, the looming, shark-like presence of Hotel's fuzzed-out guitar, and the pair's drawled, alley-cat vocals. Sonically, there's clear comparisons to be drawn to PJ Harvey's 2004 album, Uh Huh Her: both trawl through the waters of doomed romance and pitch-black blues, both are aware that sometimes less is more. And although some rock fans may prefer a little more meat on their musical bones, as a daring experiment to strip the genre down to its bleached skeleton, No Wow succeeds just fine. --Louis PattisonSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Their music is condensed yet sparse, some recorded on eight-track, some recorded on two-track. The drum beats are often repetitive stacattos, the guitar, sometimes so raw and primal as to be pure noise, and the vocals, are spiteful, viscious but sexy.
The album opens with 'No Wow', an attack on the unispiring and unoriginal media that we have nowadays, a stuttering skipping drum beat, along with nasty guitar and vocals, builds to a fantastic crescendo. The closer 'Ticket Man', a simple plonking piano piece, stands as a rant against the mess of modernity. Everything else in between contains hissing, thundering drum beats, dual vocals, and distorted messed-up guitar. The second half of the album suffers from not quite reaching the height of the first, but it's all good. Play it loud, and smile when the guitar on 'I Hate The Way You Love' rips through your speakers.
If you like this, then also get their debut album, it's even better. Ultimately, if you don't get this album, read an interview with the band, or see them live. If you still don't get them, head down to the Top 50 section in Woolworths.
My expectations were raised further by a review in the NME which gave the album 5/10, seemingly because it wasn't "commercial" enough -- fantastic I thought.
And disappointed I was not. The Kills have perfected the art of stripping a mixture of blues, post-punk and garage rock down its bare, blissful essentials. The opener, No Wow, is a barren desert of sound, populated only by repeated phrases and guitar riffs, and an endlessly chattering drum machine. Dead Road 7 is a bizarre start-stop slab of fuzzy blues rock, the song hangs permanently on the edge of something, but tantalisingly never quite gets there.
Perhaps the highlight of the album is Rodeo Town, somewhat of a departure for the duo, similar to Wait on Keep on Your Mean Side, a bubbling stew of ambiguous American passion, with a pinch of Sonic Youth and the Velvet Underground.
It is denser, darker and perhaps more difficult than Keep on Your Mean side, the album which I recommend starting with if your new to this band, but shares much of the same hollow darkness, and moments of extreme brilliance.
I cannot describe just how much you need this band in your life right now.
I won't go through the entire album, yet I will say that every track is a winner each with their own quirks, and each packed full of 'those moments' which make any music worth listening to.
'At the back of the shell' is the first track to use the phrase "lost a lot of blood, lost a lot of cool, cool cool" a rare moment of utter lyrical genius from the band who's lyrics are not normally much to write home about. Probably the most poppy track on the album, and as catchy as hell.
'Rodeo Town' and 'Ticketman' are both the slower of tracks on this album, emotional and somehow heartbreaking, with out cheapening itself.
As I write this I realize that I can not do this album justice, 'nor can any other reviewer What makes this album great can't be put into words, what makes this album is every perfect harmony, every chord change which 'just works', every well placed high pitch bleep, as I said before, what makes this album good is 'those moments', what makes it a classic is the fact that every song is full of them
To finish off I will just say that I don't hand out 5 star review of anything easily (Unlike some reviewers here), I try to review music on the basis of musical merit, originality, and execution, not opinion. This album is a classic, and should be noted as one.
No Wow builds on their somewhat disappointing first album by stripping their sound down even further - the guitar at times sounds primal, almost like a savage heartbeat, and the breathless urgency of the vocals gives tracks like "No Wow", "Love is a Deserter", "The Good Ones" and "I Hate the Way You Love" real emotional power. If you're looking for melody, or song structure, don't bother. If you're looking for songs about seedy crack dens, late night drugs benders and seedy sex in dank motel rooms, you've come to the right place. Early PJ Harvey, and to a lesser extent, Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees seem to be heavy influences.
It's not all good - the latter half of the album tails off badly, with several tracks descending into tedium, and the slower songs generally not working. Also, you're not getting the rawness and passion of their live dynamic. Other than that, recommended!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved the cover, sadly the contents didn't quite hit the spot, - mainly because it was 'Enya'. Disappointed isn't the word.Published 20 months ago by Elaine Michelle Harrison
One of the greatest albums of the decade. Sounds even better on vinyl.Published 23 months ago by Marta Leandra Silva Veloso
Alison Mosshart's personal and vocal style make a perfect front for The Kills' infectious riffs and beats. Read morePublished on 23 May 2013 by Mr Gordon Bowie
The product was in really good state when I received it and this album is still awesome! Got the product on time as well.Published on 15 Jun. 2012 by Bulie
There I was on Sat night coming home from a drink and toot evening with some spare energy on my hands before head down. Read morePublished on 21 Sept. 2005 by Colonel Kurtz
Wow. And really, really wow, not just 'cos it's like the album's name. This one's a stunner. No Wow is the sort of album that after one listen might not impress much. Read morePublished on 12 April 2005
This album is a good, solid follow up to the debut keep on your mean side. However on first listening it is not as good, this album is no doubt a grower, the more you hear it the... Read morePublished on 3 April 2005