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Bands to Watch: The Kills

WHO: Florida femme fatale “VV” and Englishman “Hotel,” chain-smoking vegans with a beatbox and vintage gear, both of whom sing and play guitar.

SOUND LIKE: Skronky, lo-fi art blues in the tradition of PJ Harvey or Royal Trux. Their debut album, Keep on Your Mean Side, balances trashy, drugged-out distortion with arsenic-laced vocals.

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Friends still call them Alison (Mosshart) and Jamie (Hince). Punk-rock legends don’t. “I was in this club, and someone was like, ‘Hey, Hotel!’ I turned around, and it was [Clash guitarist] Mick fucking Jones,” Hotel says proudly.

LIKE A SLUMBER PARTY, EXCEPT TOTALLY EVIL: When the two first met, Hotel says, “We stayed up all night, wrote five songs, recorded in the bedroom. We were like soul mates.” Onstage, they can get harrowingly intimate, with Hotel singing, “We wanna fuck and fight” into VV’s ear while she bumps and grinds. They deny, however, that they’re a real-life couple.

HOW THEY’RE LIKE THE WHITE STRIPES: The Kills won’t be adding any members. “The two of us are so close that if anybody else came in they’d be an outsider,” VV says. “We’d be mean to them.”