The Kills - U.R.A. Fever

Mark Savage 13/01/2008

Rating: 2/5

Ah, The Kills. They spent early promise on rock'n'roll cliché, and settled for pale pastiche, like so many Bobby Gillespie dreams. For awhile early single 'Cat Claw' gave us hope, by halfway through the debut album, we were as bored as the pair themselves affected to sound.

'U.R.A. Fever' isn't bad per se. Squint your ears, and you might suppose it has a swagger. It sounds like Garbage's 'Queer,' but without the hint of personality that band might have had, and without the creeping sexual malice of that song. It sounds like 'The Crimp' episode of The Mighty Boosh, but shorn of the charm, love and ecstatic climax. It evokes the sleaze of Royal Trux but without that band's sense of freewheeling ridiculous surprise . And wonder. And romance. And chaos. And tunes.

The Kills regularly sound like a punchline in a style mag gag, but they never suggest they might have a joke in their armoury; lyrics are as blankly hollow as Simon Le Bon's, but without Duran Duran's epic pomp, and damn it, fun, they cannot raise the pulse.

They're just ok.