Archives for posts with tag: The Killers

the killers

By James Pavel

5. Shot at the Night

Imperial 80’s magic blazes through the Nevada skies during this triumphant return to glory. It’s a song suitable for the soundtrack of 16 Candles or The Breakfast Club, only arriving 30 years too late. “Shot at the Night” states that The Killers are indeed conscious of what’s trending, demonstrated by the wise recruitment of French wizards, M83 for production value. It’s their most fierce single since the Sam’s Town masterpiece and delivers a sparkle of light to make one wonder if maybe the Killers haven’t completely exhausted their creative mojo.

4. Read my Mind

Besides, “The Stars are blazing like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun” being the most ridiculously awesome line ever, this is the song that every synth-obsessed band drools over constructing.  It’s the American dream condensed into one soothing spectacle seen through the red, white and blue pupils of the ΰbber-patriotic Brandon Flowers.  Music snobs hate to admit that this song engulfs the sky with the same colour of flame that any of Bruce Springsteen’s gems have managed to shower over audiences in the past. It’s as if Springsteen seduced Robert Smith and The Cure with cheap wine and a Las Vegas sunset, and nine months later, out came “Read my Mind.”

3. Mr. Brightside

Morrissey and U2, two of the Killers’ all-time heroes, have longed written as inconspicuously as possible in order to reach the broadest fan base possible. Brandon Flowers decided to do the exact opposite by shredding his personal diary of vulnerable entries and creating one of the defining pop/rock anthems of the 2000s, Mr. Brightside. Crowds erupt like the presence of a King the moment Dave Kneuning’s finger tips brush his electric guitar and gives passage to the world of sick lullabies and temporary persecution. Flowers is as dramatic as a drunken valley girl, but his conviction is real, and the success of this smash hit is his vindication.

2. When You Were Young

‘”When you were Young” made it official that The Killers would never just be remembered for one record. The song is a God-fearing, hurricane-chasing, tsunami of rock n’ roll all in the name of proving that they were not pseudo-Brits, but instead four Americans born and bred in the heart of the desert. The sonic energy of this rattle snake has enough soul surging through its core to transport an audience to the moon and back but they settle for a legacy-shifting moment. “The devil’s water it ain’t so sweet, you don’t have to drink right now,” is the ultimate “feels so good to be bad” lyric and for a brief pause, we really believe Brandon Flowers  is the only rock star that ever mattered.

1. All These Things That I’ve Done

It’s a song that transcends the band and is bigger than the group itself. If nobody remembers the Killers in 20 years, they will still remember this one. It’s profoundly deep for a pop song, as Brandon’s semi-sinister confessions are spoken aloud to the millions that allowed the Hot Fuss album to help define their mid-2000s experience. “I got Soul, but I’m not a Soldier,” is silly, ostentatious, confusing, and yet probably the most addictive and pulsating middle refrain written in pop-rock history.

By S
éamus Smyth

It’s as though The Killers locked themselves in a room for the past four years and nominated strictly classic 80s rock for repetitive listening. It’s incredible how their new album Battle Born reflects no other form of music available to the masses of 2012. It is an 80’s album that managed to sail through time to be either be enjoyed or ridiculed by a generation anticipating something special.

How could it possibly be good? How have these Las Vegas cowboys somehow manipulated the forces of time and created an album that sounds born 30 years ago but made for today? It’s a boisterous yet timid creation and easily the longest love letter the Killers have ever penned. For the first time in four albums, the shining stars of a Killers record are the slow-burning ballads.

“Maybe a thief stole your heart,” sounds like a line that would have been repeated in the library of The Breakfast Club, but is instead a signature line of Brandon Flowers in “The Way It Was.” The song has movie-magic written all over it, with confetti practically falling from its melodies. It sounds like a single, and if audiences could refrain from indulging in the dance/rap love affair currently dominating airwaves, fans might discover something timeless.

The progression of Flowers’ voice makes the album worth a listen alone. When the group debuted he had a signature tone, but surely was no Pavarotti. Yet even the pairing of Flowers’ voice with utter silence sounds like a smash. Previously the Killers almost joked about love, snickering over ex-girlfriends and chicks named Natalie, but not on Battle Born. The Killers sound as though they are falling in love every song, a notable contrast from the paranoia and global feel of their previous work, Day & Age.

“Be Still” is as cold as the Nevada desert and is maybe the most serious moment of the album. The beginning sounds directionless until drummer Ronnie Vannucci steers it to safety with a cautious, but necessary rhythm.

It’s easy to forget that Flowers is now 31 years old and can not only provide guidance, but can share enlightening advice. Where many would allow their religious devotion to overshadow their material, Flowers’ lines are ambiguous enough to sound purely inspirational, especially in the tail end of “Be Still.”

The album isn’t entirely made for slow-dancing, as the best song on the album, “Miss Atomic Bomb,” is an absolute rattlesnake.  It features the signature riff of “Mr. Brightside,” which could sound like a cheap ploy to solidify a hit, but instead comes off as a charming ode to how far they have come as a band.

The group have dawned leather jackets for the promotion of Battle Born, which is finally justified with the title track. It has rock n’ roll thorns protruding from its core that could pierce steel and has balls that could fend off jackhammers. It’s their toughest and one of their most complete songs to rise from the concrete, and serves as evidence that this is still true rock, despite the constant romanticism of Flowers.

The Killers no longer belong on the radio or in the dance clubs, but this has been by their choosing. They come from an era that hasn’t existed since the mid-90s, so they survive as artifacts of a time when music had a completely different DNA.  They have become an impressive hybrid of Bruce Springsteen and Joy Division, and although sometimes the two clash in the middle, it more often than not, sounds like one of the rarest spectacles to arise in the new millennium. The Killers aren’t going anywhere and we should all be grateful because if they could, they’d be back wearing mascara and fist pumping to “Born in the USA,” faster than you can say Thunder Road.


By James Pavel

Fallout Boy lead singer Patrick Stump had a recent meltdown of nuclear proportions over his blog this past week, when he referred to himself as a “27-year-old has been.” The source of his misery is the commercial flop of his solo album “Soul Punk,” but also the ridicule that he experienced while touring his latest work.

Stump goes into detail over the ruthlessness of his supposed fans explaining that many declared they liked him “better when he was fat,” and that he “sucks without Fallout Boy.”

Firstly, it is disappointing and depressing to hear that fans would torment an artist in such a ruthless manner. But secondly, it is unbelievable how one of the more promising up-and-coming groups of the mid 2000s could have such a drastic collapse. It was only back in 2004 when fans were discussing who would become a bigger group: The Killers or Fallout Boy.

Killers’ front man Brandon Flowers publicly insulted not only Fallout Boy but all of the fleetingly-popular Emo groups back in 2006 explaining to NME Magazine, “You don’t realize what you could be getting yourselves into with Fall Out Boy and what kind of impact it could have in a way that you don’t really want. … Culturally, if it gets as big as it is in America, it could change an entire generation of people growing up here. Emo, pop-punk, whatever you want to call it, is dangerous. We don’t wanna dislike anyone, and we’ve still never met Fall Out Boy, but there’s a creature inside me that wants to beat all those bands to death.” (, retrieved February 29, 2012.)

Of course Flowers later retracted the statements, but the flood gates were open to the debate as to what band could stand the test of time. Both bands would continue to release albums after the underwhelming fireworks to varying degrees of success. The true examination came when the two lead singers, Stump and Flowers released solo albums. Flowers released “Flamingo,” in 2010 while Stump dropped “Soul Punk” in 2011.

Flamingo was not a global-dominating sensation by any means, but it was successful enough to have validated him as one of the most recognizable, and notorious front men of rock n’ roll. While Flowers’ album sounded more or less like the Killers taking a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, Stump took a radically different approach.

Stump transformed his image from being a pot-bellied,side-burn rockin’ second fiddle to over-rated Pete Wentz, into a slim, trim, Michael Jackson-sounding lead man. The makeover indicated that Stump was prepared to be taken seriously as a solo artist, but that he was also forging a completely new sound for his surprised audience.

Unfortunately, Stump’s work failed to catch on not only in mainstream, but with any identifiable demographic. Stump’s built-in fan base from Fallout Boy appeared to have completely deserted him after he chose to dump the pop-punk sound in favour of a more mature take on music. Nobody seems to be more aware of this inadequacy than Stump himself. Stump mentioned that he has recorded a follow-up to “Soul Punk” but is hesitant to release the material for what sounds like fear of more ridicule.

Yes, the Emo pot has rapidly evaporated as the only groups to still remain from this scene are The Killers and My Chemical Romance, who both have successfully evolved relatively unscathed.  Stump mentioned that he would be more than willing to reunite with Fallout Boy, who technically are not broken up, yet currently have all the attributes that point to a band in need of serious reconciliation.

Why Stump is so shamelessly sensitive about the matter is likely because of the fact that “Soul Punk” is his creation from start to finish. Flowers had plenty of production help and even had members of the Killers play on a few of the tracks, but Stump performed every instrument and wrote every lyric of his debut album.

It was a project that he clearly poured his entire existence into, yet the overall feedback has been devastating. The road for Stump seems to be difficult to determine. He mentioned that he may look into seeking training in the trades, as he is completely discouraged from music at the moment.

His former competition Brandon Flowers meanwhile, is in the recording studio preparing for what could be a defining album of the Killers’ successful career.

What a difference 8 years can make indeed.