Tuesday, September 29, 2020 
--archival-captured-cinematronic-continuity error-daily report-datastream-depth of field--
--drama-44.1 khz-gramophone-inquisitive-needle drops-picture book-twinklepop--
Neumu = Art + Music + Words
Search Neumu:  


edited by michael goldbergcontact

Raw Trash Rock Direct From The Kills

Amidst a U.S. and Swedish garage-punk explosion, The Kills are ready to make some noise for Britain. With one self-recorded EP release — a raw, trashy five-song debut called Black Rooster, released in May on Dim Mak Records — the London two-piece is considering offers from Rough Trade and UK label Domino Records, home to critic favorites Clinic.

"England's got a bit complacent," guitarist-drummer Hotel said in a recent phone interview from the road. "I started realizing that the only exciting bands that have happened in the last year or so haven't been British bands.

"The time is now for a British band to create a new thing, and we'd like to be in control of that and not have the enemy do it for us," he added, laughing.

Inspired by Royal Trux and the Velvet Underground and led by sultry, bedroom vocals, broken guitar lines and hollowed-out drumming, Black Rooster feels rough, sexy and drugged up. Sometimes jangly and melodic, other times dark and droning, the EP is stunningly powerful. Further, it includes a cover of Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band's "Dropout Boogie" from Safe As Milk. The Kills also have a track, "Restaurant Blouse" on an upcoming 5RC comp. They plan to release two or three more EPs before combining them into a compilation record, which Hotel estimates will be out by January. Hoping to work with both Domino and Rough Trade on some level, the band isn't sure which label they'll sign to yet but intend to release their first full-length in the spring.

In the wake of such music press hyped acts as The Strokes and the White Stripes, The Kills — Hotel and singer VV — hope to elude the frequently damaging and disorienting consequences of being in the media's spotlight. Hotel recognized what he called "the eternal paradox" of such a stance — wanting to escape the press while getting your music heard. So The Kills stop short of not doing any interviews, but so far they're taking a grassroots approach to spreading the word. "People aren't short of seeing bands photographed in papers and magazines," Hotel said. "I think it's time for a bit of a ground zero; it's time to start thinking about things differently [and] create a bit more mystery, 'cause I think people are sick to death of bands being hyped. I'd quite like to avoid that.

"I wanna concentrate on things that are a bit more organic," he continued. "The way we recorded, that was organic as we could get it. I don't know what the attitude is [in the U.S.] with the way people record, but in England everything is done on Pro Tools. It's all multi-track and digital and it's a sound that's a bit stagnant — it doesn't really jump out at you anymore. So, we were quite careful to make sure that [Black Rooster's] sound was organic and raw and live, the same as our artwork. Our artwork was all cut-and-paste. We try to not get too far away from this grassroots idea. I like the idea of being hand-to-mouth."

The Kills, currently more than a month into a U.S. tour, captured Black Rooster's primitive, lo-fi feel at an old analog studio in London. "It got a bit out of control — the best time I've had in a studio," said Hotel with a sense of delight in his voice. "A really odd studio; all vintage-style, nothing was made after 1970, a really incredible-looking building. We recorded onto the eight-track machine. We only had two days and it was one of the first times of absolutely not having enough time to try different things or try to keep different takes. It was just bang it out straight away without thinking too much.

"I really like the vibe of [the record] when I listen back to it," he continued. "It sounds really raw and like it's a session rather than ... so many recordings nowadays sounds almost over-perfected."

The Kills started out by sending tapes back and forth between Hotel's London home and VV's in the U.S. for six months. VV — former frontwoman for the Florida punk group Discount — moved to London about three months ago, allowing The Kills to pick up the pace. "We started playing whatever came to mind, kind of messing around playing stuff and it worked out somewhere and became coherent," Hotel explained. "It went through stages and then, at a certain point, we decided we weren't going to get anybody else involved. It was just gonna be two of us.

"We were recently working out these songs in our basement, just the two of us, and it seemed like getting the right attitude and the right vibe for the music was more important than the overall sound of it," he continued. "So we got pretty stuck on it just being a duet thing [and] seeing how far we could go with that, so that's the reason we didn't involve a drummer."

As for the duo's music, Hotel says its source is a mystery, even to him, "To be honest, I don't know where half the songs come from," Hotel said. "I don't want to sound pretentious, but it's like one minute they're not there and then the next minute they are. It's not really much that we've done in the way of working things out or planning arrangements. So far, we've just been on a roll. It's been a very natural thing. I'll have a few ideas on the guitar, play those [then] VV starts singing and we've got a song in a few minutes, it's pretty cool like that." — Jenny Tatone [Thursday, July 18, 2002]

Alejandro Escovedo's Joyous Rebirth

John Vanderslice Kicks Genre

Paul Duncan's Elusive Pop

Stephen Yerkey's Wandering Songs

French Kicks Complete 'Two Thousand'

Spazzy Romanticism: Love Story In Blood Red

Brain Surgeons NYC Rock The Big Questions

Jarboe's 'Men' Charts Turbulent Emotions

Delta 5's Edgy Post-Punk Resurrected

Blitzen Trapper Spiff Things Up

Minus Five: Booze, Betrayal, Bibles and Guns

New Compilation Spotlights Forgotten Folk Guitar Heroes

Chris Brokaw's Experiment In Pop

Old And New With Death Vessel

Silver Jews: Salvation And Redemption

Jana Hunter's Beautiful Doom

Vashti Bunyan Finds Her Voice Again

Nick Castro's Turkish Folk Delight

Katrina Hits New Orleans Musicians Hard

Paula Frazer's Eerie Beauty

The National Find Emotional Balance

Death Cab For Cutie's New Album, Tour

Heavy Trash's Rockabilly Rampage

Help The Wrens Get Their Albums Released!

Devendra Banhart, Andy Cabic Launch Label

Lydia Lunch's Noir Seductions

Bosque Brown's The Real Deal

PDX Pop Now! Fest Announces Lineup

Sarah Dougher Starts Women-Focused Label

Jennifer Gentle's Joyful Psyche

Mountain Goat Darnielle Gets Autobiographical With 'Sunset Tree'

Mia Doi Todd's Beautiful Collaboration

Return of the Gang of Four

Martha Wainwright Finds Her Voice

Brian Jonestown Massacre's Acid Joyride

Solo Disc Due From Pixies' Frank Black

Heartless Bastards' Big-Hearted Rock

Mike Watt's Midlife Journey

The Black Swans Balance Old And New

Nicolai Dunger's Swedish Blues

The Insomniacs' Hard-Edged Pop

Yo La Tengo Collection Due

Juana Molina's 'Homemade' Sound

Beans Evolves

Earlimart's Songs Of Loss

Devendra Banhart's 'Mosquito Drawings'

Negativland Rerelease 'Helter Stupid'

Alina Simone Transforms The Ordinary

Sounds From Nature: Laura Veirs

Octet's Fractured Electric Pop

Sleater-Kinney Working With Lips Producer

The Cult Of Silkworm

The Evolution Of The Concretes

Devendra Banhart's Exuberant New Songs

Catching Up With The Incredible String Band

Gram Rabbit's Desert Visions

Three Indie-Rock Stars Unite As Maritime

Remembering Johnny Ramone

Jarboe's Many Voices

Phil Elvrum's Long Hard Winter

First U.S. Release For Vashti Bunyan Album

Incredible String Band To Tour U.S.

New Music From Lydia Lunch

Le Tigre Protest The Bush War Presidency

Joel RL Phelps: Bleak Songs Rock Hard

Time Tripping With Galaxie 500

Patti Smith Wants Bush Out!

Sharron Kraus: A New Kind Of Folk Music

The Fiery Furnaces' Psychedelic Theater

Harder, Heavier Burning Brides

Sonic Youth's Ongoing Experiment

The Dt's Do It Their Way

Poster Children Cover Political Rock

Rare Thelonious Monk Recordings Due

Uneasy Pop From dios

Beck, Lips, Waits Cover Daniel Johnston

Understanding Franz Ferdinand

The Truly Amazing Joanna Newsom

Mylab's Boundary-Crossing Experiments In Sound

Have You Heard Jolie Holland Whistle?

The 'Magical Realism' Of Vetiver

The Restless, Rootsy Songs Of Eszter Balint

The Sun Sets On The Blasters

Devendra Banhart To Tour U.S.

The East/West Fusion Sounds Of Macha

Destroyer Gets Mellow For Your Blues

TV On The Radio Get Political

Sonic Youth, Modest Mouse To Play Lollapalooza 2004

New Music From The Fall

Apocalyptic Sound From The Intelligence

Fast And Rude With The Casual Dots

'Rejoicing' With Devendra Banhart

New Album, Tour From The Polyphonic Spree

Shearwater Take Wing

Sleater-Kinney To Tour East/West Coasts

Resurrecting Rocket From The Tombs

Visqueen Want To Get A Riot Goin' On

Lloyd Cole Makes A Commotion

Funkstörung's 'Cut-Up' Theory

Waiting For Mirah's C'mon Miracle

Electrelane Find Their Voice

The Television Is Still On!

Experimental Sounds From Hannah Marcus

The Ponys Play With Rayguns

Ex-Mono Men Leader Returns With The Dt's

Mountain Goats' Darnielle Adopts A More Hi-Fi Sound

Sun Kil Moon To Tour U.S., Europe

Nothin' But The Truth From The Von Bondies

Sultans Survive 'Shipwreck'

Sebadoh Reunite For Spring Tour

Xiu Xiu's 'Reality' Rock

Meet The Patients

Beth Orton, M. Ward Make Sadness Taste Sweet

Oneida's Pathway To Ecstasy

Radiohead, Pixies, Dizzee Rascal To Play Coachella

Young People Tour Behind War Prayers

Pixies Tour Dates Announced

Ani DiFranco Tells It Like It Is

Deerhoof Back For 2004 With Milkman

McLusky Set To 'Bring On The Big Guitars' Again

Pixies Reunite For U.S., European Tours

American Music Club, Decemberists To Play NoisePop 2004

Damien Rice Set To Tour U.S.

The Frames Accept Your Love

Punk Rock's A-Frames To Re-Record Third Album

Finally! Mission Of Burma Record New Album

A Solo Detour For Ladybug Transistor's Sasha Bell

Return Of The Old 97's

Spending The Night With Damien Rice

Tindersticks Reissues Due This Spring

The Evolution Of 'A Silver Mt. Zion'

Neil Young Rocks Australia With 'Greendale'

Poster Children Back In Action

'The Great Cat Power Disaster Of 2003'

Chicks On Speed's Subversive Strategies

Oranger At A Crossroad

Peaches On Tour And In Control

Jawbreaker's Complete Dear You Sessions To Be Released

Belle & Sebastian + Trevor Horn = Sunny Pop Nirvana

Von Bondies' Pawn Shoppe Heart

Descendents Are Back!

Modest Mouse Touring; Album Due in 2004

London Suede Take A (Permanent?) Break

Saul Williams Wants You To Think For Yourself

The 'Zen' Sound Of Calexico

Elliott Smith Dead AT 34

Debut Due From Mark Kozelek's Sun Kil Moon

The Hunches: Music That'll 'Fucking Live Forever'

Vic Chesnutt Speaks His Mind

90 Day Men Cancel Tour

Keith Jarrett, Cecil Taylor Highlight SF Jazz Festival

For My Morning Jacket, It's The Music That Matters

EP Due From The Polyphonic Spree

Bright Eyes, Neva Dinova Collaborate On EP

The Rise & Fall & Rise Of Ben Lee

Catching Up With Cheerfully Defiant Tricky

Hanging Around With The Polyphonic Spree

Sophomore Album Due From The Shins

Noise Rock From Iceland's Singapore Sling

Death Cab To Tour U.S.

Rufus Wainwright's Want One Is 'Family Affair'

Death Cab's Transatlanticism On The Way

Heartfelt Rock From Sweden's Last Days Of April

The Minus 5 Get Down With Wilco

Tywanna Jo Baskette's Southern-Gothic Rock

Xiu Xiu's Stewart Takes On 'Gay-bashing'

Portishead Producer Resurfaces Behind New Diva

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wire, Primal Scream On Buddyhead Comp

Yeah Yeah Yeahs To Tour West Coast

Sonic Youth, Erase Errata Kick Off 'Buddy Series'

The Locust Are One Scary Band

Damien Rice In The 'Here And Now'

Remembering Karp's Scott Jernigan

ATP-NY Postponed 'Til At Least 2004

The Soul Of Chris Lee

Gits' Frenching The Bully To See Re-Release

Stephen Malkmus Is In Control

Superchunk To Release Rarities Set; Teenage Girls To Swoon As A Result

Summer Touring For The Gossip

Babbling On About Deerhoof

Irish Song Poet Damien Rice's O Released In U.S.

Chatting With ATP's Barry Hogan

Former Digable Planets Frontman Surfaces With Cherrywine

ATP L.A. Festival Rescheduled For Fall

Freakwater's Janet Bean Takes A Solo Turn

Lee's 'Cool Rock'

Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs Highlight YES NEW YORK

Mark Romanek's 'Hurt' Revives Johnny Cash's Career

The Rapture's Post-Punk, Post-Dance Sound

R.E.M., Wilco, Modest Mouse Highlight Bumbershoot Fest

Set Fires To Flames' Sleep-Deprivation Sound

Southern Gothic Past Shadows Verbena's La Musica Negra

The Subtle Evolution Of Yo La Tengo

Spring Tour For Jolie Holland (Plus A Live Album)

Liz Phair Still Pushing The Limits

Gold Chains Wants You To Dance And Think

Young People's War Prayers On The Way

peruse archival

-snippetcontactsnippetcontributorssnippetvisionsnippethelpsnippetcopyrightsnippetlegalsnippetterms of usesnippetThis site is Copyright © 2003 Insider One LLC