Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. No, it's not the new White Stripes record -- it's something infinitely better.
  2. Though the album could use a bit more grit and grime, it's still remarkably solid.
  3. In a sea of pretenders, the Kills are capable of providing some genuine competition for the White Stripes.
  4. Few debuts are as intriguingly addictive, physically compelling or effortlessly hip as this.
  5. Uncut
    80
    The duo's liking for repetitive Royal Trux-style riffage forms the core of their debut but they frequently explore more sparse territories. [Apr 2003, p.110]
  6. Mojo
    80
    A record of substance, one that stands head and shoulders above today's garage bashers. [May 2003, p.89]
  7. Keep on Your Mean Side is a solid debut from a duo with enough moxie to shamelessly retread their myriad influences without coming across as so annoyingly derivative as to negate its brash, anything goes energy.
  8. Though their minimalism might sometimes sound like straight distillation, the tunes still hit, and hurt.
  9. There are a few moments of weakness on Keep on Your Mean Side - most notably where V.V. and Hotel get a little too repetitive or too simplistic for their own good – but it's easy to move past these minor instances without it detracting from the album too much.
  10. [A] bruising disc of post-modern blues.
  11. Many will understandably bore of it quickly, for there’s nothing to new to discover after repeat listenings. Yet, it contains enough rock solid tracks to make it recommendable to fans of the genre.
  12. It would make the perfect soundtrack for an evening spent terrorizing hitchhikers and toppling portable toilets.
  13. Blender
    60
    Cocky and nicotine-stained, the Kills revive the cheap art of sinister underground rock and puzzling, mysterious pseudonyms. [May 2003, p.121]
  14. The Kills' sludgy punk-blues doesn't contain many pop melodies or catchy choruses.
  15. Magnet
    60
    Keep On Your Mean Side suffers from the same-samey quicksand tha bogs down the overhyped Yeah Yeah Yeahs. [#58, p.95]
  16. Q Magazine
    60
    Once upon a time rock'n'roll was all about the sex you really shouldn't have. The Kills haven't forgotten. [Apr 2003, p.108]
  17. There are too few ideas here to really make 'Keep On Your Mean Side' worth our devotion.
  18. The Kills make the least of their limitations -- rather than magnifying the importance of each choice, the simplicity of the Kills reveals how little thought went into any choice.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 18
  3. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. Oct 15, 2017
    9
    Many disagree but for me this is The Kills most consistently high quality album from start to finish. Every song on here is at least good andMany disagree but for me this is The Kills most consistently high quality album from start to finish. Every song on here is at least good and there are some real classic blues rock riffs on here. A proper rock and roll record in every sense and one that will hav eyou pounding your feet. Reeks of attitude with the tunes to back it up. Full Review »
  2. May 6, 2011
    8
    Whoa! I just bouth this re-issued today (May, 2011) and you get really good solid songs with 5 extra tracks than the original did. (I lilkeWhoa! I just bouth this re-issued today (May, 2011) and you get really good solid songs with 5 extra tracks than the original did. (I lilke it better than Dead Weather, because I coudln't make out who was singing on that album -- .Jack White or Allison??? Some of the music on this album sounds like Velvet Underground circa Andy Warhol banana album - it's that good! This is highly recommended at Reckless records (London/Chicago) where I got it, and now by me too! Get the re-issue if you can, it clocks in at almost 1 hour of hot, solid, alt-blues rock!!! I can't beleive i missed this one when it first came out. Full Review »
  3. FavianR
    Jan 15, 2005
    10
    raw, nitty gritty, in your face... its a rock blues that I can steady step to with my boogie shoes. The heavy distorted bass lines and the raw, nitty gritty, in your face... its a rock blues that I can steady step to with my boogie shoes. The heavy distorted bass lines and the bellowing guitar riffs that make me want to growl, its a wonder these guys haven't already made it bigger. Do they have anymore albums? I want them, I want her, an amazingly sexy voice and they work extremely well together as singers. Bring them to Austin, Texas, we will listen. Sincerely, Favian Hail,Hail Rock N Roll Full Review »