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The Kills: Giving the Gift of Grit

In one of the best glam-rock songs to surface in recent years, The Kills' "Last Day of Magic" unashamedly pronounces its aggressive intentions: "I'll be the man with the broom / if you'll be the dust of the room / And there's only so much you can hide / before I corner you." There's more where that came from, as "Last Day of Magic" definitively separates The Kills from other boy-girl rock duos.

Instead of stripping down to two obvious instrumental lines, The Kills' Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince flesh out their sound with the production help of Spank Rock's Armani XXXchange. Incorporating guitars and drum machines, the pair demonstrates that the gift of grit goes beyond blues bass and high hats. The record, composed in rural Michigan, lets its rustic setting bleed through every note, with a resonance that's both poppy and dirty.

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Chantal de la Rionda