The sparse, wiry tension at the heart of the Kills' sound may have been honed via cross-Atlantic exchanges between Englishman Jamie Hince and Floridian Alison Mosshart, growing out of their respective garage-punk obsessions. But fundamentally the duo whacks away at the raw, gritty pulse of the blues in all its stark, primal glory, amid seminal concerns about life, death, mayhem, and lust. Knowingly or not, the pair's early material, including their just-re-released debut, Keep on Your Mean Side, was rooted at least as much in the Mississippi Delta as in South London. By the time Midnight Boom was released last year, their minimalist intensity had been tempered with infiltrations of sneaky pop elements, a broader sound palette, and less harrowing emotions. The gothic punk of the U.K.'s the Horrors is caught up in sweeping waves of off-kilter synth and organ bombast on their second album, Primary Colours, coming across best when lacerated by guitars. While singer Faris Badwan channels the haughty grandeur of Boris Karloff, campy storms of billowy instrumentation suggest the Cramps produced by Vincent Price. Openers the Nashville-based Magic Wands are another duo—cryptically identified as Dexy and Chris—who play a sly, shimmery brand of pop-rock that's flooded with atmospheric effervescence. 18+.
Mon., May 11, 8 p.m., 2009