Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mid-Week Special: B-sides from The Killers

In the summer of 2004, I learned about a Las Vegas rock band called The Killers. They had released a couple songs in the UK, and had just started getting radio airplay for a song called "Somebody Told Me" which was a fantastic dance rock gem. I gathered everything I could about the band, and then went to my favorite music festival in the Bay Area the first week of June. Opening the entire festival on a small side stage at 12:30 was none other than the Las Vegas men themselves, playing seven songs off of their upcoming debut album Hot Fuss.

When the album was released that summer, I saw the band play an in-store release party at a Virgin Megastore in downtown San Francisco, met the band, and finally got to listen to an album full of their songs. It was nothing short of amazing to me. I still have trouble skipping a track when I'm listening through Hot Fuss. It was like the second coming of Duran Duran, only a hell of a lot better.

Now I look at The Killer's and see a lot of missed opportunites and wasted promise. Why grow cowboy moustaches? Why get in feuds with bands like The Bravery? Why get arrogant about your next album? Why shift from 80s tinged dance rock to Americana? Sam's Town is not a wholly terrible album, but it is a colossal misstep for a band that rose to prominence with such a different genre of music. I'm not saying that creative growth or bands stretching outside their comfort zone is wrong, but this particular case really did not work for me.

Anyways, The Killers have a b-side album called Sawdust coming out soon, so I thought I'd post a few b-sides I have from the Hot Fuss days that will be available on the disc. My favorite song by the band is still "Under the Gun" which I think is a fantastic whallop of a track. Here's hoping the third album is a little shift back to their synth-filled 80s rock and less of the down home Springsteen impersonations on their sophomore effort.

The Killers - Under the Gun
The Killers - Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll
The Killers - Who Let You Go

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