Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Album review: The Kills, Ash & Ice

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Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart of The Kills. Photo . Getty Images
Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart of The Kills. Photo . Getty Images

"I'm loyal," moans Alison Mosshart for the hook of Heart of a Dog, one of the standout tracks on The Kills' new album.

There's a pause, a drum kick, a few strums of the grunty riff of Jamie Hince, and then her punchline: "I've got the heart of a dog."

She doesn't sound loyal at all, but Mosshart wails that last line like a chained-up terrier, turning it into a great moment on an album full of them.

It also sums up the connection between Hince and Mosshart perfectly. He's from Buckinghamshire, she's from Florida, but there's something about the duo that makes them sound like no one else.

And on Ash & Ice, an album that almost didn't happen due to tendon issues in Hince's hand, they double down on what makes them great.

Their fifth album runs the full gamut of The Kills' emotions, from the raw garage-rock of Doing It To Death to the bluesy sparseness of Let It Drop; the shimmering stunner Impossible Tracks and the deliciously earnest Days of Why and How.

"I'm a hard habit to break," coos Mosshart on Habit. Let's hope it's a warning to Hince, because this is as essential as guitar-fired rock gets in 2016.

Review: The Kills, Ash & Ice

- TimeOut

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