Ah yes. The Killers. The early Killers actually just to clear things up. Back when Brandon Flowers was fresh faced and Mr. Brightside took over the world of radio. They came flying out of the traps with their early singles and became one of the biggest bands in the world in a pretty short space of time. Synth was back and it was cooool. It kick-started the new wave-wave again and everyone partied like it was the much less original and eventually overdone but still entertaining 80’s again.
‘Hot Fuss‘ is another one of those albums that could be played as a soundtrack to my youth as I bought it in 2004 or 2005 and pretty much had it on repeat for 3 years. I’m sure I’m not the only one who can relate as they were the ‘band’ for a few years there, popping up all over the place and releasing 2 further highly anticipated albums before their influence began to fade. This album has gone on to be referenced many times as the ‘Best of..’ or ‘Top 10 Albums of..’ in many publications and rightly so. It was perfect really for the sound it delivered and how The Killers presented themselves. There was no second guessing that sound and the album had 4 hits and at least 2 more unreleased winners. Songs such as ‘Andy You’re A Star’ and ‘On Top’ are on par with some of the released tracks. As for the final 4 tracks, they are entertaining and interesting at time with a few dips. ‘Everything Will Be Alright’ is a calming and reassuring track built more on vocals but is an excellent track to finish the album. Of course there are parts of the album I’m not mad about, the track ‘Midnight Show’, part two of the ‘Murder Trilogy’, doesn’t make the cut and comes across as just a filler after a while even though it has a purpose and ‘Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll’ kind of bothers me too even though it is a good track which takes a dig at bands of the 00’s.
The 4 released tracks that people are most aware of are ‘Mr. Brightside’, ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’, ‘Smile Like You Mean It’ and ‘Somebody Told Me’. I remember the very first time I heard ‘Somebody Told Me’. It was right when I was taking a serious interest in music and when I wasn’t fully sure just what I liked to hear. Whatever music show TG4 had back in the day was on and I saw ‘Somebody Told Me’ by The Killers was up next so I said to myself I would wait and hear it. The song comes blasting in with guitar and synth and honestly I was hooked from the get go. I just thought it was so fast and on the edge and from then on I thought they were the shit. To further cement this belief I then heard ‘Mr. Brightside’ when my cousin played me the album. Though it was the first track released, I hadn’t heard it until then and again, totally blown away. That became such a massive hit that it’s actually still way down in the English charts TO THIS DAY!! SERIOUSLY!! And you know what, I love to hear it come on the radio and to sing along.
‘Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine’ is the first track off the the record as is also another part of the ‘Murder Trilogy’. Solid enough especially to start the album and in fairness to The Killers they kept the theme’s broad and also planned for the future. Would a song about murder be the first track to put on most indie rock albums? Doubtful. Other themes are love, coming of age and growing up, ex’s and encounters with girls. ‘Smile Like You Mean It’ is a track which focuses mostly on this coming of age feeling and having to deal with getting older, always wishful and trying to make the most of the moment. Brandon Flowers actually says its quite a personal yet sad song for him. ‘Somebody Told Me’ is a track which uses a nightclub or bar as a setting, detailing that “heaven ain’t close in a place like this” to highlight the perhaps lack of romance or class in the place. He’s either chasing a girl or meeting an ex, but the song pretty much repeats itself throughout.
The big hitter for me is ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’. The slow piano intro followed by what feels like anger and determination to be taken seriously. The bridge, “I got soul, but I’m not a soldier” is now one of the most famous lines from the album and it rouse’s you so much too. My cousin has a version of this he likes to sing after a few jars that goes “I got stoned but I’m not a stoner“…sure! Throughout the album The Killers mix new wave and post punk brilliantly while keeping this indie and alternative feeling. Was it a success because it was unusual at the time of just because it is brilliant, that’s up to you to decide. For me, it’s an album that stands the test of time and I think it’s legacy, along with ‘Mr. Brightside’s’ longevity, proves that.
Photo Credit: last.fm