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The Kills

Midnight Boom (Domino)

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The only reason we never suspected that the Kills were actually a techno group is their name. Techno guys would never settle for such a simple moniker. But in retrospect, it makes sense, since the male-female duo never really seemed committed to the guitars-and-drums thing. On Midnight Boom, the Kills ditch the punky blues-rock of their 2003 debut for repetitive bass and 808 hypnosis, shuffling through a dozen tracks with more breeze than they did on 2005's idle No Wow. Replacing palm-muted, post-coital ennui with industrial sound effects, slamming doors, and dial tones, Midnight Boom's minimalism can be maddening for those of us who never got Suicide. A few songs take a pass at melody, but the Kills sound less like X than they do the boring half of LCD Soundsystem's Sound of Silver.

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