So far, VV and Hotel - the British rock duo The Kills - are known for two things: on-stage chemistry and minimalist compositions. Just two. Two, with atomic intensity, illuminate a rainy Tuesday night in Pomona California, evaporate convention, and leave the audience in a pulsating glow.
A band from Detroit called The Sights opens for The Kills. Three hard-ass rockers: guitar/singer twitching and flipping off the audience like Brad Pitt in Twelve Monkeys, organist rocking the organ - not metaphorically, but standing, pounding, and rocking the shit out of it, and drummer, careening , the glorious train wreck - you can't turn away. The train wreck comes to Spaceland in LA at the end of April.
If the Sights resurrected the rock energy of the 70's, The Kills manifested the post-punk pre-80's, Manchester, Joy Division and company. Hotel's collared shirt, thousand yard stare and herky-jerky dance moves hint at trademarks of Division's Ian Curtis. VV, jeans, white T-shirt, mic in hand, teases the audience with streams of black hair, flowing long and straight. Like a girl from the horror flicks she's ferocious, hunting her prey, calculating, ready to strike. Any moment she'll swallow our soul. If we're lucky.
Unlike most acts, the music itself is more of an accompaniment to the performance, with repetitious lyrics and staggered guitar licks obeying the beats of a pre-programmed drum machine. Their songs - nearly, if not all - from "No Wow," are palpable, but don't squeeze, bite, or devour the listener like the show. Granted, the music is vital to the performance - without it, it's an avant-garde strip tease - yet lyrics, licks, and beats meld so well with the jerks, stares, and glares, it's more of a soundtrack than a full length album. While The Jimi Hendrix Experience was an experience in music, The Kills Experience is a live one.
In other words, while some bands play a gig, The Kills ARE the gig. See them. Hear them. Experience.
For tour dates, music, and video: www.thekills.tv