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The Kills hit the mark

TT the Bears, Nov. 20, 2004

By Jeffrey B. Remz

CAMBRIDGE, MA - There are The Killers and The Thrills. Both enjoyed very good years. And then there are The Kills. They may be able to reach the same level of success of their sort of related namesakes achieved, at least based on the duo's show before a packed house.

The London-based Kills consist of main lead singer VV (Alison Mosshart), an-expatriate, who was born in Vero Beach, Fla. and lived in London for five years, and Hotel (Jamie Hince), a British native.

Together, they make very solid music. They are continually backed by a tape consisting of drums and whatever other instruments are needed for a fuller sound. Hotel handles most of the live guitar parts with VV occasionally strapping on an electric as well.

What makes the songs so inviting is that they possess killer melodies and are highly danceable.

And VV offers a strong presence. Very lithe, she ably gets into the music, singing well enough and moving along with the beat. They mixed songs from their upcoming second album, "No Wow," starting with the title track and throwing in about five songs. Sometimes, she and Hotel played off each other facing each other in the middle of the stage. VV was quite dextrous as well arching backwards on occasion.

But this wasn't a show of gymnastics. It was the music that mattered most, and they most definitely cooked. The Kills with one album under their belt on Rough Trade have a new CD dropping in March. Based on their performance, the first of a 10-date U.S. tour, 2005 bodes well for The Kills.

And while they could be confused name-wise with The Killers and Thrills, The Kills' music establishes a group with its own identity.

Detroit-based Blanche opened with a good set in their Boston debut. The group, fronted by Dan John Miller, has a definite country bent with Feeny on pedal steel and Jack Lawrence on banjo. Tracee Mae Miller presents a Loretta Lynn type look with a a satiny white gown and bouffant hair, playing bass and singing backing vocals.

Unfortunately, she could have offered more of a counterpoint to her husband, but her vocals were mixed too low.

Blanche, which had their indie release picked up by V2 Records this fall, offered an interesting sound of country and rock flavorings, making for more of an alt.-country type sound.

Blanche has room for growth for sure, but based on this evening, Blanche bears watching



©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher • countrystandardtime@gmail.com
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