The Kills are an indie rock band formed by American singer Alison Mosshart ("VV") and British guitarist Jamie Hince ("Hotel"). Their first three albums, Keep On Your Mean Side, No Wow, and Midnight Boom, have garnered much critical praise. Blood Pressures, their fourth and most recent studio album, was released on April 4, 2011, worldwide and April 5, 2011, in the United States.
Mosshart was previously in Floridian punk rock band Discount, and Hince was in the British rock bands Fiji, Scarfo and Blyth Power. Before the two had met, Mosshart overheard Hince playing music in an upstairs flat during Mosshart's European tour with Discount. They finally met up, and started playing around with some music ideas. After Mosshart went back to Florida under the influence of Lauren Antonina Herbert, she continued writing songs with Jamie, by sending her ideas overseas to London, where he lived. Mosshart saved her money and eventually moved to London. The duo officially started. They first performed as VV and Hotel, in a club in SoHo in London. Wanting to cut themselves off from their pasts, Mosshart and Hince renamed themselves "VV" and "Hotel", respectively. Hince said that he and Mosshart "got drunk one day and named each other off the top of our heads as a stupid romantic ode to the pop art scene." Later, after each wrote multiple band name ideas on typewriters, Mosshart and Hince decided on a new name, The Kills.
Together, they began writing sparse, minimalist songs together with the aid of a drum machine. In 2001 they showcased their new songs on a demo tape; however, the pair shunned approaches from major record labels. Recording as VV and Hotel, they contributed the song "Restaurant Blouse" to the compilation If the Twenty-First Century Did Not Exist, It Would Be Necessary to Invent It. Shortly after this they recorded their debut release, the Black Rooster EP, which saw release on British indie label Domino Records and was picked up for distribution by Dim Mak Records in the United States.
The record could not have been more of a departure from both artists' previous bands. It was lo-fi in both musical and aesthetic terms. The record sleeve featured photos of Mosshart and Hince taken in a photo booth rather than professional photography. Musically, the record was a sparse, lo-fi Garage rock/Blues hybrid. Though the band cites Captain Beefheart, PJ Harvey, LCD Soundsystem, The Velvet Underground, The Fall, Patti Smith, Suicide and Royal Trux as immediate influences, the music press has largely compared them to The White Stripes.