Ash & Ice
The Kills - Ash & Ice
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2016 Ratings: #601 / 754
User Score
Based on 66 ratings
2016 Ratings: #379
June 3, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Domino / Label
Indie Rock / Genres
Your Review


Entertainment Weekly

While the rockers on Ash & Ice stand toe-to-toe with the Kills’ best ... the album’s greatest moments are its most reserved.

The Line of Best Fit

Ash & Ice ultimately represents the contemporary tension of two talented artists finding their way back from the brink by leaning on each other as well as their music.

Loud and Quiet
Finally, The Kills have grown out of the staccato-riff-against-processed-beat template that’s defined them.
The Kills are finally hitting their peak, but a low-key kind of peak.
It’s ... a culmination of all that’s come before; a band confident in their own skin, their identity clearer than ever, their mission unchanged since those transatlantic tapes at the turn of the millennium.
The Kills' fifth studio album might not bring anything particularly new and groundbreaking to their discography, but it certainly won't disappoint fans.

Even if they're lacking some of their expected swagger, it adds truth to Ash & Ice's portraits of what remains after the worst happens.

Drowned in Sound

Ash & Ice somewhat ironically doesn’t have much of the icy immediacy that typically marks The Kills’ work, the album is one you need to live with to get the full payoff.


They’ve returned with an ambitious record that encompasses everything they’ve done before and further embellishes their boombox beats with Brazilian and Afro-pop influences.

The Guardian
Music may have moved on, but the Kills are still wearing skinny jeans and leather while unleashing chugging riffs and pre-programmed rhythms beneath Alison Mosshart’s attitude-laced vocals.

There are several false starts during The Kills’ fifth effort and the execution does not always quite match the intention, but for the most part it’s a successful return for the duo.


Like a sullen café server, Ash & Ice does exactly what you expect it to for slightly longer than you’d like it to take, with the minimum of authentic excitement.

No Ripcord

At 50 minutes, there is the overriding feeling that the album outstays its welcome, with the blueprint lacking the dynamism for it to maintain its focus.

A.V. Club

Ash & Ice is an incremental creative step in the right direction for The Kills. But the uneven execution demonstrates once again that the band’s undeniable live chemistry and charisma doesn’t always translate perfectly to its studio work.

Under The Radar
The effortlessly cool rock 'n' roll attitude they've long embodied has been traded in for muted ennui, and by album's end, you're left feeling unsatisfied by what The Kills have to offer.
Consequence of Sound

Ash & Ice lacks cohesive identity. Any record with Mosshart’s vocals and Hince’s guitar will be identifiable as a product of The Kills, but the record both feels inconsistent and as if the songs all blend together. Just when you settle in to the sameness, a jarring, unappealing turn rips you away.

The Skinny
While this isn’t a bad album, it does feel like a safe one (which is perhaps even worse).
The 405
This is not to say that this is a boring album: it's not. There are a few truly memorable riffs, notably on 'Hum for your Buzz' and 'Bitter Fruit', it's just that overall, this music feels that bit too slick to deliver the 'unease' and 'winking ennui' that the record label copy promised. Far from taught thrills, I found this easy listening.
Dec 13, 2016
On their new record, the London-based indie-rock veteran band The Kills returns with a mildly fun set of uncompromising songs that, at their core, contain basically that same peculiar energy that the band is so well known for, but here, the more reserved moments tend to overtake the atmosphere, leaving the album if not on a low note, at least a bit tired and contained (and not for the good). Still, their inclination for blues and electric guitar high-tension still show up, an on those specific ... read more
Dec 1, 2016
Struggling with maturity, they sacrifice a great part of their excitement for a square version of sonic ash and ice.
Nov 18, 2016
It feels sad to listen to a band that you love and not like it.
That's almost what happened in this album.

Don't get me wrong, it's way better than their morbid previous record and songs like 'Hard Habit to Break' and 'Heart of a Dog' are fun as hell. But it still sounds too out there, you know?
The Kills used to be energetic, dirty, romantic and rock and roll. Now I hardly hear their scracthy guitar. Alisson's voice is still incredibly good and manages to hold out the whole album in its own, ... read more
Aug 10, 2016
Fav Tracks: Days of Why and How, Let It Drop
Jun 11, 2016
The album has perfect start with "Doing it to death" and "Heart of a dog". The rest is forgottable. Number 13 - "Echo home" has quality with its guitar riffs
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#37/Double J
#90/Piccadilly Records
Track List
  1. Doing It to Death
  2. Heart of a Dog
  3. Hard Habit to Break
  4. Bitter Fruit
  5. Days of Why and How
  6. Let It Drop
  7. Hum for Your Buzz
  8. Siberian Nights
  9. That Love
  10. Impossible Tracks
  11. Black Tar
  12. Echo Home
  13. Whirling Eye

Added on: March 1, 2016