killers_day_age
I’ll be honest. Back in 2002 when I saw the name Brandon Flowers as the lead singer of the Las Vegas based band The Killers, I thought it was supposed to be some stodgy stage name with an arbitrary band title thrown in for shits and giggles.

Turns out that I was only about ten percent right. I know a few of you out there wondered if that was his real name, and where the hell that band name came from. Just like in grade school, I went and did your homework for you. Brandon Flowers is his REAL name, and the band actually derives its name from a music video of the British band New Order. The video they got it from is for the song ‘Crystal’, in which the actual band members of New Order are replaced with pre-pubescent teens called ‘The Killers’ (as depicted on the bass drum in the video), who lip-sync the words to the song.

The Killers are a post-rock quartet, comprised of Brandon Flowers on the mic, Ronnie Vannucci Jr. on drums, Dave Keuning on the guitar and vocals, rounded out with Mark Stoermer on bass with vocal flavors as well. But also, the boys throw in all sorts of musical instruments besides the staples, such as the saxophone and steel drums in the track Can’t Stay. Now, The Killers are pretty damn good, and I think the reason why I’m surprised about that, is because they are softer than what I would expect a band from Vegas to be.

Their 4th studio album, Day and Age, was released in late November, just in time to give me another album to be thankful for. The first track, Losing Touch scared me a little bit, because I felt it might get a little flowery, but then that slick bass line dropped with the horns, and all was well. The song is about (I think) a girl who thinks she’s the cat’s pajamas, and is so helpful to Flowers, but he’s no fool. I had the line “console me in my darkest hour” stuck in my head at work all week.

What I’ve always liked about The Killers, is that they know how to: A. Tell a great story (usually about a woman, coupled with some sort of worldly plight) , B. Give me some groovy bass lines to strut to, and C. Use a Vocal filter that didn’t make me want to break my cd in half from gradual indignation.

The second track (don’t worry, I won’t cover EVERY track), Human, is supposedly the hit single on this album. What’s interesting to me though, is that it’s actually one of my least favorite songs on the album. It breaks the mold of folk-y post-rock, and is just quite frankly mundane and mainstream trash. But lackluster singles are about as expected and unfortunately abundant as fake tans in Southern California, so I’ll allow it.

Without giving too much away, I want to annotate that The Killers are one of the few groups that I think are doing a fairly decent job in the post-rock scene while still maintaining their cool. Plain and simple, Day and Age is a must have for fans of post-rock. New listeners will be glad to hear that a band is actually allowed to break out of the commonplace boundaries of sticking to the same ol four instruments that we hear on the radio all the time. Old fans will be happy to know that the band is getting back to that root feeling of comfort and groove, with a bit of perk, that only post-rock can provide. I've been a listener of them since the beginning, and I haven't lost an iota of support for the lads.

Keep and ear out for my favorite tracks: Losing Touch as I stated above, Joy Ride (it makes me want to film a sexy strutting music video starring moi), and A Crippling Blow, a track which makes us feel nostalgic about our childhood. Or for those who are still children, remind you of how naïve you are. With that being said, go out and love you some Brandon Flowers. Geez I think I've said post-rock enough times to last me the next month. Have a good weekend folks.

~Flak