The Kills have always been a dependable rock band not afraid to incorporate some occasional synths and synthetic drums and the fusion on ‘Doing It To Death’ is very smooth considering how much the dirty guitars and glossy synths collide. It’s almost impossible to have Alison Mossheart not put in a good performance as a rock vocalist; even her turn on the Dead Weather’s disappointing last album livened up some of the blander rock moments. Though the lyrics on ‘Doing It To Death’ are somewhat weak with its ‘When the waves come you face them’ water imagery, Mossheart is as always a solid member. The Kills, especially on ‘Doing It To Death’ don’t just make a rock song, they embrace those elements that are taboo in rock – they reach for the synths, the drum machine, the theatrical organ.
The other half of the duo, Jamie Hince, has had to recover from hand surgery but plays the dirty rock riff that drives the song as if he’s only just put the guitar down. You don’t tend to hear this kind of riff in rock songs anymore – that kind of blood-rushing, gritty sound – but Hince plays like all the great classic rock forefathers without incorporating the same kind of cock-rock that Muse are playing with. The Kills are always welcome, partially due to the lack of big ‘rock’ bands and partially due to them not sticking to the formula and though ‘Doing It To Death’ has some less-than-great lyrics, the tune sticks well.