September 2, 2004

Test Spin: The Killers

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Between The Hives and The Strokes bringing back minimalism and The Darkness reconnecting us with flamboyant cock rock, it doesn’t take much to recognize the recent trend in rock revival. The Killers, a new foursome emerging from Sin City, push the “turn back the clock” button even harder as they bring back ’80s and ’90s synth-pop with a diverse and ass-kicking 11-song set.

“Mr. Brightside” is a power anthem for the broken hearted, sounding like Cheap Trick’s “Surrender,” while singer Brandon Flowers voice is deeply moving and hauntingly similar to The Cure’s Robert Smith. “All the Things I’ve Done” is their suite ballad as you hear echoes of The Smiths and Joy Division in the opening melancholy only to find it abruptly transition into a soulful chorus that pushes the inventive envelope even more.

Perhaps the best-sounding and most original piece is “Believe Me, Natalie.” Synthesizers, drum solos, filtered singing, extremely slick watery guitar sound and even a few trumpets all go on to finger an array of references.

But in the end, the song hints at what the band itself is graciously achieving. The many elements of the past connected with the present help make The Killers a new and fresh band with a distinguished sound. They’re deadly.

Archived article by Dan Cohen
Red Letter Daze Staff Writer