The seven-year lay-off between this sixth album from The Kills and their last, 2016’s ‘Ash & Ice’, represents the longest of the duo’s career. With both Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince having dipped their toes into different creative waters in recent years - Alison with The Dead Weather, Jamie having recently played a run of shows in Iggy Pop’s backing band - you wonder whether they had perhaps run out of things to say as The Kills. Nudging them back on track this time, after early writing sessions were derailed by the pandemic, was Paul Epworth, a masterstroke choice of producer; on the one hand, an expert when it comes to mainstream polish, on the other, actually their first ever sound man, who worked with them in their fledgling stages in 2002. It means he has an innate understanding of the chemistry that makes the pair tick, which remains at the heart of ‘God Games’ even as it comes over sounding like their most ambitious and handsome release yet.
While the scuzzy bluesiness that informed the likes of ‘Keep On Your Mean Side’ and ‘No Wow’ is conspicuous by its absence on the rolling drama of ‘New York’ or the playful rock of ‘LA Hex’, the manner in which Jamie’s guitars complement Alison’s vocals remains almost unnervingly impressive. The latter is on the form of her life here; strutting one minute and vulnerable the next. You wish The Kills were a touch more prolific, especially in recent years, but ‘God Games’, like its predecessors, has proved worth the wait.