2nd November, 2006
The Killers: Geniuses or Peniuses?
Figure 1: The Killers are a) geniuses, or b) peniuses?
This cathartic rant has spiralled out of control, so I’ve pulled it out and am just going to post it right here, right now. So, do I love The Killers, or do I hate them? Read on…
Late 2004: I Hate The Killers
Right. I hate The Killers. I base everything I knew about them on the first two singles. To me, Mr. Brightside and Somebody Told Me are utterly shite. I have never been able to appreciate the good bits in those records due to the awful nursery-rhyme-esque choruses or verses that sound like infants trying to coin their first poems at school.
I paraphrase: “Now she’s smoking a cab, and she’s doing her hair, and I’m getting quite bored, rather wrestle a bear…”, or “Somebody Told Me, You had a boyfriend, looked like a ladyboy, I write like a schoolboy…” and so on. I just don’t get it, yet the whole world seems to be going bandy for them. The singer doesn’t look convinced himself - he looks nervous.
Summer 2005: Seems they have a couple of good songs
Some time later, I see The Killers perform All These Things That I have Done at Live8 (on the TV) last Summer. Hmm, not bad, fairly epic, no naff bits or nursery-rhymes. The “I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier” is a little bit cheap, but they turn in a good performance, and I’m semi-impressed. Not long after, my good friend and DJ Ben Wood plays Glamorous Indie Rock and Roll in a club whilst I am smashed. Epic, knowing, fantasticly naff - and I love it.
Then I hear Smile Like you Mean It on Middle-Of-The-Road FM (Virgin Radio), and I like it. Sounds like it was made in the 80s. Then I hear more stuff off Hot Fuss and it all sounds like it was from the 80s. My God, how cool is that baseline in Jenny Was a Friend Of Mine? Despite my ever-so slightly increasing interest, I still say I hate the band to anyone who will listen, as I still think those first two singles are utter nappy-mess.
September 2006: Hmm, the new single is pretty good
I am then experiencing a week off before I start my new job, and I’m watching a lot of MTV2. The new Killers single, When You Were Young is on heavy rotation. I don’t get it at first, but I like the video. Is Bruce Springsteen singing the bridge? Anyway, it seeps into my brain like drip torture, but I’m starting to turn it up. Before I know it, I’m fucking loving it, and have purchased it from iTunes.
October 2006: The new album is fucking brilliant!
I get drunk with the Agenzia boys, go home, and browse iTunes. For some reason I buy the new Killers album - Sam’s Town. It is good. I listen more. It is very good. Two days later, I can’t turn it off. It is really, really good! Cohesive, intelligent, and with more nods to 80s English music (The Associates, Depeche Mode, Bowie - even Queen) than Now That’s What I Call Music 1984. I am even forgiving them for dressing up like cowboys. Tracks like For Reasons Unknown and Bling have captivated me completely.
The album has a bonus track - Where The White Boys Dance. Bonus track?! Are you ‘aving a laugh?! Fucking amazing record. Sounds like David Bowie at his best, with stunning vocals and melodic wot-nots. My track of the month for sure. Track of the year. If you hate The Killers, at least give this song a listen. It is like sex on toast.
Conclusion: I love The Killers, but…
...I still hate those first two singles, and always skip them if I’ve got Hot Fuss on. Bloody awful, disjointed, childish papp. Give me anything but those two songs. My current conclusion with The Killers is that they seem genuine, and seem to sing about America in an authentic way with pretty cool lyrics. The big thing for me is the melodies, and also the obvious nod to 80s synth and bass sounds. That stuff is just spot-on. Anyway, end of rant.