For the past decade, Jack White always has felt like some sort of enigmatic miracle worker. Or perhaps “warlock” or “witch doctor” are more appropriate terms. But any way you slice it, the result has been the same: White has been able to (A) build something large out of very little and (B) bring focus and resolve to a kaleidoscope of different influences and styles when collaborating with peers.
Ever since 2002, Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince, better known as The Kills, have been etching their names in the minds of listeners thanks to their abundance of menacing, freaked-out rock. But on Blood Pressures, the band’s latest effort, The Kills’ typical rough-sewn, scatterbrained freak rock is pared down. Unlike past efforts — where the focus of songs may have been more bent on making raucous, balls-to-the-wall mishmashes — the new album plays to The Kills’ strengths, as the veteran witch/warlock duo constructs an impressive collection of dark, decadent indie rock.
Mosshart, who has become a household name in the indie scene thanks to the immense popularity of her Jack White-helmed side project, The Dead Weather, once again teams with her cohort, Hince, who has lately found his way into headlines (in Britain, anyway) for his recent engagement to Kate Moss. Once again, the two have come together to devise a simultaneously explosive and subdued collection. Mosshart’s familiar vocals are as confident and as fierce as ever, while Hince’s flexed musical muscles show off an assortment of multi-instrumentation and sonic diversity.
Shawn Knight, a.k.a. designer and illustrator Pinky Blaster, has created art and music since an early age. Followers of the Detroit music scene may recognize his name – previously of the band New Grenada, Knight now performs in the high-energy punk band Child Bite. The band is notorious for its wide range of instruments, humorous live performances, and its members’ impressive facial hair.
While in high school, Knight began playing in punk and metal bands. These two genres influenced him heavily while he was growing up; he notes both Black Flag and The Dead Kennedys as significant influences. Knight got his start designing local band fliers and posters, and he continues to use live music as an opportunity to expose his artistic skills — though now at a national level.