The swagger of it just kills me

Not a folk band

Not a folk band

File under: We Should’ve Hung Out More. Last year when the Kills released their album, Midnight Boom, I got my hot little hands on it, listened once or twice, deemed it quite all right, and promptly forgot it existed. It was nothing personal. I just became distracted by other bands and all that life hullaballoo.

The buzz-machine seemed poised to swallow and spit out the Kills, too. Around this time last year, they had all the trappings of the It Band of the moment. They were featured in an article in Nylon. Singer Alison Mossheart notoriously chain-smoked throughout their shows.  The duo, Mossheart and Jamie Hince, artfully channeled that “Are they or aren’t they?” mystique of the White Stripes. They’re pretty. It helped that the band liked to play their music loud and proud. But if style were to come to blows with substance, the Kills appeared destined to be left in the lurch when the next big thing came along.

So why, a little over a year since Midnight Boom appeared on the shelves, am I loving the Kills? Really, I think the answer lies in this refrain: He’s the alphabet pony. The beat is hard to resist, as is the gymnasium-ready chants of Mossheart as she sings about cigarettes and pink plastic Jesuses. But the four main words of the chorus, for all their opacity, ensured that I could never completely lose sight of the Kills. And they’re coming to Portland in about a week. I’m so excited, you would think it was 2008 all over again.

The Kills will play at the Wonder Ballroom on Sunday, May 17. The Magic Wands and the Horrors will also play.

  • The Kills ~ Midnight Boom ~ Domino

Alphabet Pony


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