Sunday, March 23, 2008

hold me, thrill me, kiss me, bore me

Weird. Ben Ratliff sums up both exactly what repulses me about the Kills and what makes their new album so slightly more palatable than the others in his New York Times review:

"...sounding bored and chic, simultaneous distancing and beckoning, creating revulsion and desire — seems to tilt, in the end, more toward fashion than music. Moving through one trashy-sexy texture after another, the album is much more carefully made than the band’s previous two; it’s minutely worked on, fussed over, thoroughly staged and blocked and lighted. It’s not natural. It doesn’t just tumble out."

Right. But shallow can be sexy, as Garbage's astounding (forgotten?) Version 2.0 proved a decade ago. And so he goes on to compare them to LCD like I did and grouse at their cheap array of sound effects...hold up, buster. The sound effects are the momentary distraction from their shitty, er, raw songwriting and laughable will-they-or-won't-they-sleep-together gimmick. The overrall effect is much closer to that of classic Beck than anything on the Why? record...all those dialtones and slamming garage doors and oddly placed (sampled) drumrolls and rusty 808 clicks fed through a cheap flanging device are what make these mannequins interesting at all.

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