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Since the success of their last album ‘Blood Pressures’, The Kills have strangely kept a low profile; broken only perhaps by Alison Mosshart’s involvement with The Dead Weather, who have been busy touring in support of their latest release ‘Dodge and Burn’. Now the garage rock duo’s eager fan base anticipate the upcoming album ‘Ash & Ice’ – the band’s first album in five years.

New single ‘Doing It To Death’ is a firm statement that The Kills are back – and with a few subtle changes. Most notably is the full use of keyboards for the first time, which appear in the song’s opening few seconds. This pop sound is a newcomer that might alienate hard-core fans of the band; but unlike the song’s title, The Kills don’t overdo it.

Mosshart’s vocals meanwhile appear softer than the growls heard on ‘Dodge and Burn’. It’s not until the song’s simple chorus where the singer’s soothing disguise disappears and her real character takes over, crooning over the phrase “doing it to death” relentlessly in a more typical fashion.

Cutting through the track’s multi layered rhythm section is none other than Jamie Hince, whose high toned guitar is fused with just enough reverb to stamp his presence in the song. And while the track follows a somewhat strict formula for the most part, it’s the bridge of ‘Doing It To Death’ where the song really takes hold. Here the guitars shift tone to a more sinister and western vibe, coupled with Mosshart’s repeated line “we’re double sixing it night after night” – a possible hint toward themes of gambling and excess on ‘Ash & Ice’.

‘Doing It To Death’ is a restrained, bare bones song that does just enough to tease The Kills’ new sound. Despite its 4 minute length, it feels like the song is over too soon – and in the process leaves listeners hungry for more.

‘Ash & Ice’ will be released on 3rd June 2016 on Domino Recordings.

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Josef McDermott