thekills_LEAD

The Kills’ latest record Ash & Ice is a somewhat hit-or-miss affair of stripped down, electro-blues post-punk. That said, the lyrical approach is consistent: love, lust, and all other interpersonal compulsions are told through addiction metaphors. Sometimes it’s as basic as someone’s “handsome[-ness]” being as debilitating as “Black Tar” heroin — other times it’s a bit more sophisticated, yet somehow even more raw. Either way, these five addictive lyrics are all, as Alison Mosshart would put it, “a hard, hard habit to break.”

Siberian Nights

yenmagThis hyper-sexual screed begins the track, giving you no time to be wooed. Lyricist Alison “VV” Mosshart” is so aggressive that even she knows she’s coming on a bit strong. Still, she knows that even if it makes her target temporarily uncomfortable, they’ll still be drawn into her spell. It works so well because the audience gets the same feel: [LISTEN]

Siberian Nights

Days of Why and How

DominoEquating love, drugs, and getting hit by a locomotive — these aren’t particularly innovative lyrical tools. But this stark ballad is the sleeper hit of the album; Mosshart and co-conspirator Jamie “Hotel” Vince could possibly get you to sing the alphabet over this. Luckily, the opt for the freight train motif instead:

Days of Why and How

Doing it to Death

gettyThis one manages to encapsulate both the blissful euphoria of the powder-and-clubs scene and it’s inevitable comedown. Perhaps their love feels just like the 6am sunrise bump — not nearly as pleasant as it was earlier in the night, but they “can’t stop it now” and are ‘ready to face the waves’ that are about to wash over them: [LISTEN]

Doing it to Death

Let it Drop

RSWhat starts as the symptoms of heroin withdrawal quickly turns into weeping and “death threats.” Again, while the uptempo drum machine and single-note guitar line intro give us some time to breathe, Mosshart does not. They “let” the especially sparse background grooves “drop” behind her words, which sit front and center, unobstructed:

Let it Drop

Impossible Tracks

equipmentIt’s only one quick line, punctuating a roundabout story of Mosshart’s vulnerability to manipulation, but it sticks in your craw and stands out from the rest: she doesn’t ‘settle for being set on fire by a liar’ that will leave her unsatisfied. To put a concise, cosmic spin on it:

Impossible Tracks