Keep on Your Mean Side is the debut album by UK based indie rock band The Kills. Originally released on April 1, 2003, through Domino Records, it was later reissued on May 4, 2009, with five additional bonus tracks.
Following international touring, they entered Toe Rag Studios, where The White Stripes had recorded their album Elephant, to record Keep on Your Mean Side, mostly on 8-track, in just 2 weeks. Distributed in the US and UK by Rough Trade Records, the album was similar in style to the EP, veering from the Velvets-esque stomp of "Wait" to the noisy, dirty garage punk blues of "Fuck the People" and dark psychedelia of "Kissy Kissy". The record was well received by the music press, though the White Stripes comparisons would not go away.
Maintaining an anti-careerist, anti-music industry attitude, the band rarely granted interviews. Rather, they got the music press to come to them with their minimalist yet powerful live shows (which also included the drum machine), the pair maintaining an air of tension by subverting the expected role of stage performer. Mosshart chain-smoked while singing, rarely speaking to the audience, whilst Hince violently ripped blues riffs from his instrument. At a New York City show following the ban on public smoking, Mosshart went on stage with three bottles of water, lit up a cigarette and proceeded to smoke constantly from the first song to the last note of the set.
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Reviews for Keep on Your Mean Side were wide-ranging but mostly positive with a few exceptions. It has a normalized rating of 70 out of 100 on MetaCritic based on 18 professional reviews.Rolling Stone was complimentary saying the music was "dark, kick-ass garage rock" and the album was "a bruising disc of post-modern blues" echoed by Allmusic's "sneering, sexy blues-punk" that's "relatively fresh and distinctive".