THE KILLS: Kissy Kissy

7 09 2016

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For the past few days I’ve constantly had Kissy Kissy in my head by The Kills. Maybe it’s because my mind has slowly caught up with the fact that I’m seeing them in a couple of weeks. First stop will be Manchester- the first night of their UK tour, followed by their London date which is the last date of the tour. I am more than happy for someone to fund me doing the whole tour. My ultimate dream has always been to follow a band on tour and write about it. But I’m not William Miller. This isn’t Almost Famous. It’s just a 29 year old with a wasted dream. Get in line. So, with Kissy Kissy firmly placed in my head I thought I would write about why it’s in my Top 10 songs by The Kills. I don’t have a solid list, but I know for sure that Kissy Kissy is right up there.

For me, part of my love for Jamie and Alison is the aggression in their sound. The way Jamie can make his guitar sound like a machine gun and Alison can snarl her way through some of their most rowdy songs has always left my mind blown and my heart firmly out of my body, flailing on the floor whilst taking its last few beats. Their music means THAT much to me. From hearing their first record around 13/14 years ago to now getting stupidly excited when I hear Impossible Tracks. It goes beyond being just a love for a band. It’s most definitely a crutch, and one I am not ashamed to lean on. I probably go to music before a person. Then I go to a person, and listen to some music. I like to get different opinions. With The Kills I’ve always felt like I’ve found some form of home there. I like things to be unorganised and a bit rough. That’s how I like my music- a complete opposite of me. I want the aggression, the fury and the rage. I want it all blasting in my ears. Kissy Kissy sums up all of that, and really for me, sums up the sound of The Kills. The guitar and the drum machine ricochet like a gun. The verses are repeated like bullets being reloaded. It’s the perfect song to unleash any frustration to. Getting out that anger that someone causes you is sometimes a good thing. Me? I don’t. I won’t ever raise my voice and I’ll avoid confrontation. I’ll just go home and play The Damned. Kissy Kissy.

The intro sounds like a snake winding it’s way towards you, the drum machine has this gripping tick tock sound. It feels like Jamie and Alison are coming for you, and everything is closing in on you. Tick tock, goes that irritating clock on the wall. You’re so sure it is moving too fast. Tick tock. Tick..fucking tock.

Some may regard the lyrics as being too repetitive or having no depth. Don’t listen to them. The Kills have never ever needed to fall in line with pretentious words to conjure up anything in the mind. They go beyond you seeing things in your mind, they make you feel it in your body. You feel as if you’re living the songs. If you walk down the street listening to Future Starts Slow or Fuck The People you feel instantly cooler than you are. You feel something quite powerful. Do it.

The way they sing “It’s been a long time coming” that sounds so beautifully sinister. A lot of their earlier songs have this sinister feel to them, as if they are coming for you. Just lurking in the corners until you slip up- then they pounce upon you. As if there could be anything better than that. A lot of their songs do hold a sentimental value to me, and I can easily relate them to a time or place. But with Kissy Kissy, it just seems to be always in my head on a loop. The way the guitars and drum machines sound ferocious and their vocals match this in a way I’ve not really heard before, it just makes me feel like I’m hearing the song for the first time every single time I play it.

I love that they still have it in their setlist, I can’t imagine a show by them without this song being played. The live version of Kissy Kissy is incredible and taints how you hear it on record. They let themselves go completely and the way the words are snarled and the way the guitar unleashes this beautiful burning rage leaves you wishing you could compose something like that. It is songs like Kissy Kissy that just reinforce my love for Jamie and Alison, over and over again. Certain songs by them I go back to just to reinforce my love for them, and Kissy Kissy is easily one of them.

From looking at recent setlists, I’ve got a handful of songs that I cannot wait to witness live and I’m pretty sure that Kissy Kissy is going to be one of the ones I’ll remember until my memory fails me. There’s something so powerful and so raw about it. So typically Alison. So typically Jamie. The way they look at each other when they sing it, the way Jamie struts with his guitar as if it is a weapon. The way Alison throws herself around with her guitar and spews out the words. The way they sing the song together. Everything, just everything about it- I cannot get enough. The song whirls around my head most days and I’m more than happy with it staying there. It feels like it could be in a blood bath scene in a violent film or it can be equally at home in my head. It was one of the first songs I ever remember hearing by them, and it is one of the great moments on their debut, Keep On Your Mean Side. Just under 6 minutes long, Kissy Kissy is a timeless and rebellious anthem for us outcasts. Stay on the outside and play it loud.

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