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Video of the Moment #2919: The Killers

 
By on Tuesday, 5th February 2019 at 6:00 pm
 

It’s been a spell since we’ve had new music from The Killers. ‘Wonderful Wonderful’, the Las Vegas band’s fifth album, made its debut in autumn 2017. Brandon Flowers and co.’s latest offering is wholly welcome while sadly unsurprising, given the political turmoil America has been going through in the last few years. The words in the title of this one-off song from the Killers, ‘Land of the Free’, is of course taken from our national anthem, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’. To drive home Flowers’ primary point in this song, that the meaning of our freedom, as far as we understood it as children learning our national anthem, has been impinged on, the promo video was filmed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee at the American / Mexican border. Watch the video for ‘Land of the Free’ below. For more on TGTF on The Killers, go here.

 

Album Review: The Killers – Wonderful Wonderful

 
By on Thursday, 2nd November 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo by Erik WeissThe Killers Wonderful Wonderful album cover

When The Killers released ‘Battle Born’ back in 2012, it was divisive. Some felt that they’d simply began to phone it in, while others found some solace in the pop-centric sound they came out wielding. Whichever side of this fence you stand on, the 5 years that passed, including the release of ‘Direct Hits’ in 2013, gave plenty of time for retrospect and time to let exactly what The Killers had achieved thus far sink in.

Fast forward to this year, which not only included the 10th anniversary of second album ‘Sam’s Town’, but also the official return of The Killers with brand new music. If you’re going to come back from an extended stint away, then ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ is how you do it. ‘The Man’ puts Flowers in his macho persona, without crossing into the seedy territory many other bands have fallen into. It’s a perfectly orchestrated machismo funk fest, setting hopes high from the start for this new chapter of The Killers’ story.

Now we’ve had ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ for a while now, it’s time to see how easily it’s digested, starting with the titular track. Opening the album with a call similar to that of the conch shell taking pride of place on the artwork, it eventually reveals itself to be more predatory rather than one to immediately vie for your attention, more of a slow burner. After follower ‘The Man’, we find ourselves with ‘Rut’, which reverts back to the slow burn approach. Beautifully melodic, it’s more suited to this new era of The Killers than anything they’ve done previously.

‘Life to Come’ turns into a moment of throwing back to the band’s earlier experimental years, with a fast-paced rhythm and pure pop sensibilities layered all over. However, it’s ‘Run For Cover’ where the album really hits its stride. The urgent, natural sounding guitar that ushers in more electro-pop sounds bring to mind the epic Americana feeling from ‘Sam’s Town’. Just far less Springsteen this time around. (You can read editor Mary’s review of this single through this link.) The sample of commentary that welcomes in ‘Tyson Vs. Douglas’ is a clear call to the Las Vegas blood running through the veins of The Killers. The glamour of multimillion-dollar fights that took place in their beloved hometown ring out while they kick in with another pop-led smasher.

It’s ‘Some Kind of Love’ where they finally show their more reserved chops. The airy synth chords that welcome it before Flowers comes in with the words “you’ve got the will of a wild, a wild bird” add an earnest dimension to ‘Wonderful Wonderful’, one that also encapsulates Flowers’ wife’s struggle with depression and anxiety which led to the cancellation of a section of his 2015 solo tour. Still, though, they also still manage to tack on some more funk on the track. Bringing back the assuredness, ‘Out of My Mind’ is a lovelorn ditty that fully utilises layered vocals and massive synth sounds that gain your attention.

The end of ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ truly holds some mystical and magical moments, most notably American actor Woody Harrelson reading a Bible passage from Matthew 9:10-12 to introduce ‘The Calling’, before another uber-assertive funk beat kicks in, Flowers crooning hard over it. Gritty guitar lines and a swooning bass line make this a cut that’s got as much attitude as it does depth.

Finales are normally where The Killers tend to fail. They can kick proceedings off and give the songs in the middle important occasional bursts of gusto to keep you involved, but rounding it off seems to be a hit or miss situation. ‘Money on Straight’ is one of the few iffy tracks that could as well be removed, and the album wouldn’t suffer any real loss. Its only saving grace is the ethereal sounding electronica that plays perfectly with Flowers’ lyrical melodies and the cutting guitar riffs.

Overall, ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ certainly lives up to its title. It’s The Killers returning to form, with both substance and style, though occasionally, the substance does wane. The fact Flower’s If you find yourself feeling that way while listening, skip back to ‘The Man’ and you’ll be able to swagger your way through the rest.

7/10

‘Wonderful Wonderful’, the fifth album from Las Vegas rockers The Killers, is out now on Island Records. For more coverage on The Killers right here on TGTF, come through.

 

Single Review: The Killers – Run for Cover

 
By on Monday, 31st July 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

It hasn’t been looking too good for bands from the Noughties. I mentioned in my review of Chris BAIO’s new album that Vampire Weekend are probably done, and The Strokes have been quiet. I thought we could write off The Killers as well, having given up on them after the inconsistent ‘Day and Age’ in 2008. Turns out the band from Las Vegas have a fifth album in them. ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ will be released in September and follows individual band members’ solo and side projects and bassist Mark Stoermer’s break from music to return to school. Two weeks ago, I shared with you the promo video for ‘The Man’, a urban disco-infused thumper of a track that sounded weird for The Killers to me. Shortly after I posted it, I reconsidered, thinking of the annoyingly funky ‘Joy Ride’ from ‘Day and Age’. Maybe they’re just working themselves backwards?

For those of you who think The Killers and disco don’t go together, ‘Run for Cover’ will have you breathing a sigh of relief. Released last Friday, it’s actually sounds like the band have returned way back to their roots. In vocal delivery style, the new single has more in common with ‘Somebody Told Me’ from those nostalgic ‘Hot Fuss’ days than anything in their back catalogue I can put my finger on. The freneticism of guitar notes, followed by bright drumbeats, convey both anxiety and urgency, and the lyrics haven’t even started yet.

It’s a grammar geek’s dream to begin with. Brandon Flowers stretches a rhyme between “progenitors” (when have you heard that in a pop song) and “senator’s”. “What have you gathered to report to your progenitors? / Are your excuses any better than your senator’s?” His tone is accusatory, his forked tongue suggesting his target isn’t any better than that statesman on a pedestal who cheated on his wife and got caught. Ouch. The two pre-choruses conjure images of strong people the protagonist idolizes: African-American boxer Sonny Liston, known to the world for being formidable (curiously, the word for ‘wonderful’ in French) and his mother, strong and resolute, but eventually breaking down: “I said, ‘Momma I know you’ve tried’ / but she fell on her knees and cried”.

Even from these two people who exhibit their positions of strength, the chorus urges us to “run for cover, don’t be afraid of the fear, that’s a played out trap, man / I know you’re not the only one”. Initially, I considered the recommendation curious, as ‘The Man’ who preceded this single was all cocksure. But I don’t think The Killers want us to be scared. While the rapid-fire lyrics of the chorus do give a sense of tumult, a clever use of shiny synths gives this song a special feel, as if it’s intended to inspire action, to protect ourselves and others and in solidarity. Given that some of our American statesmen and stateswomen just voted last week to protect the very healthcare that covers the vulnerable of our country, the timing of this single couldn’t be more perfect. And “He got a big smile, he’s fake news / Just run for cover, you’ve got nothing left to lose”? I’m just going to leave that there and look forward to ‘Wonderful Wonderful’.

8.5/10

‘Run for Cover’, the newest single from The Killers, is out now on Island Records. ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ will follow on the 22nd of September. Catch all of our past coverage here on TGTF on Brandon Flowers and co. through this link.

 

Video of the Moment #2395: The Killers

 
By on Thursday, 6th July 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

Surprise! Last week, The Killers came out with a new song. Brand new single ‘The Man’ has already racked up over 2 million streams on YouTube, and it isn’t hard to see why. It’s definitely showing a more frenetic, urban sound than we are used to from the ‘Hot Fuss’ days. In the video, frontman Brandon Flowers reminds us that The Killers are from Las Vegas, and he plays an underdog Elvis impersonator trying to make a living in Sin City. Or obsessed with hand weights and the daredevil acts of Evel Knievel? Or he’s a down on his luck gambling addict? Or he’s The Bachelor? Is the song a veiled attack of our President? Hmm. Make of it what you will below. Want to read through all of our coverage of The Killers here on TGTF? Right through here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3xcybdis1k[/youtube]

 

Brandon Flowers / May 2015 UK/Irish Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 1st April 2015 at 8:00 am
 

The Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers will be touring his new album ‘The Desired Effect’ in Ireland and the UK later this spring, starting with an already sold out Dublin date and including a newly added second date at London’s Brixton Academy. ‘The Desired Effect’ is Flowers’ second solo album, due for release on the 18th of May. You can find the puritanical video for the album’s first single ‘Can’t Deny My Love’ just below the tour date listing. Tickets for the following shows are available now.

For previous TGTF coverage of Brandon Flowers’ solo career, head this way. Our previous coverage of The Killers can be found right here.

Tuesday 19th May 2015 – Dublin Olympia Theatre (sold out)
Thursday 21st May 2015 – London Brixton Academy (sold out)
Friday 22nd May 2015 – London Brixton Academy
Sunday 24th May 2015 – Manchester Academy
Monday 25th May 2015 – Edinburgh Usher Hall
Tuesday 26th May 2015 – Leeds Academy
Thursday 28th May 2015 – Birmingham Academy

[youtube]https://youtu.be/9iiDlU4rhlY[/youtube]

 

(Charity / Holiday!) Video of the Moment #1697: The Killers and Jimmy Kimmel

 
By on Thursday, 4th December 2014 at 6:00 pm
 

You either love or hate American late night talk show host and all around big mouth Jimmy Kimmel. There is, however, no denying he’s invited some amazing bands to perform on his show. This might have been a questionable collaboration between the comedian and fellow Sin City babies The Killers, but hey, it’s December and it’s the holidays, right? Chuckle along as Brandon Flowers and co. write their new holiday tune ‘Joel, the Lump of Coal’. Santa Claus as a villain? Yeah, this one is a little bit strange.

For previous coverage on the Killers on TGTF, including their holiday video in 2011 on World AIDS Day, right this way.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xZ3Ezl5-Lk[/youtube]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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