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No Wow

No Wow

19 Feb 2005
4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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No Wow
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
First things first, please, please, please ignore any comparisons of this band to the White Stripes, they're not lazy comparisons, they're just wrong. I'm a huge fan of the Stripes for their individuality, and that's perhaps the only similarity between these bands. Apart from that, they're not at all alike. The Kills are fantastic because of their simplicity. Whilst the modern Indie scene is overrun by style and lacking in substance, drowning in image, narrative, souless solos and pointless recycling of music, the Kills ride high above all of this.

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.
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Format: Audio CD
I first got turned on to the Kills after seeing them support Primal Scream a couple of years ago - their on stage chemistry, dirty blues riffs and stripped down sound hitting all the right buttons for me. I've since seen them live numerous times, and their live shows are incendiary. However, The Kills have always suffered the problem many excellent live bands have - capturing the essence of their live shows on CDs.
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!
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Format: Audio CD
Get over White Stripes comparisons, the nearest comparison is PJ Harvey. So, if you like the more upbeat PJ Harvey, like me then you will love this album (and their previous album).
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Format: Audio CD
I was very very anxious when this album came out. Their first album, Keep on your Mean Side, was easily the best debut of 2003, an album that, throughout the last year and a half, had never strayed too far away from stereo. I'd have walked barefoot through hell for these two.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
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 more you like it.
However if you're a virgin to the kills sound, i recommend to buy keep on your mean side first, which is one hell of a debut album!
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Format: Audio CD
It starts with a beat, slowing growing in a pulsating monster with no climax. The title track 'No Wow' engulfs anyone who listens to it, taking control of the body making you move.
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.
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