THE KILLERS Hot Fuss (Vertigo)
Two years after the rest of the world, I finally get to hear The Killers. After at least three friends independently raved about their genius at me, one of them kindly gifted me the Las Vegas quartets 2004 debut. And to me, well, its that same mix of Duran Duran, The Cure, a particularly uninspired New Order and Strokes-alike hosepiped vocals that I heard on The Braverys eponymous album (which, admittedly, Hot Fuss predates).
To be fair, The Killers have a knack for monstrously anthemic choruses, but its the ungainly glue that holds them together that disappoints. Theres an awkwardness to the lyrics, as if the band are trying to imbue their flash hollowness with a depth and significance it hasnt earned.
Mindlessly enjoyable though Mr Brightside might be, its also Bowies Queen Bitch sprinkled with digital glitter. The turgid, sluggish dirge of Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll is anything but what the title suggests, and if its intended as a parody, well, that joke isnt funny anymore. (Was it ever?) Everything Will Be Alright is similarly woozy and lumpen, and Brandon Flowers vocals blare like a foghorn through Midnight Show. The albums one genuinely weird as opposed to Look at me, arent I weird? moment, is Andy, Youre A Star, a gospel-powered jock homage that unfolds like a pack of randomly shuffled Polaroids.
Hot Fuss is harmless plastic retro rock, and I suppose it should be refreshing to see a different set of influences being recycled, but as to why so many have embraced it so fervently, Im stumped.