Today, indie rock band The Kills have released their fifth studio album, Ash & Ice, through Domino Records. The 13-track LP covers 50 minutes, and was recorded at a rented house in Los Angeles and Electric Lady Studios in New York City. It was produced by Jamie Hince and John O'Mahoney.
The duo of Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince have been creating music since 2002, and have five studio albums, four EPs, and one live album under their belt. Ash & Ice contains the trademark sound that the band has created for themselves, with fuzzed out guitars, drum loops, detailed production, and Mosshart's spirited vocals. The problem with this release though is that most of the tracks seem to blend together with familiarity.
In the five years since the band's previous album, Blood Pressures, the band have gone through significant changes. Three months after that album was released, Jamie Hince married supermodel Kate Moss on July 1, 2011 — but the couple are currently going through a bitter divorce battle. Some of the dark emotional content on this album can certainly be linked to that breakup, as well as multiple hand surgeries that required Hince to re-learn how to play guitar. For her part, Mossheart has been active in the Nashville indie rock supergroup The Dead Weather, who released an excellent album in 2015 called Dodge and Burn.
"Hum For Your Buzz" and "That Love" are sweeping ballads where Alison draws you in with her passionate vocal delivery. They're good songs, but they seem misplaced on the album's overall tracklist. Fans should appreciate "Doing It To Death," "Heart Of A Dog," and "Impossible Tracks," but that's only because the band has stuck to the familiar formula of their gritty sound.
That's not to say that Ash & Ice is a bad album by any means. It would have been nice to hear the band experiment with their unique sound a little further, perhaps taking a few more risks.
Pick up Ash & Ice on Amazon. You can also stream the full album above for free, via Spotify.
For more music, news, and tour information about The Kills, check out their Zumic artist page.