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The Killers Hot Fuss on our store now for 16 grab yours now at:
What Pitchfork said:
Despite hit songs on both sides of the Atlantic and Best Band Ever endorsements from UK scribes, Las Vegasbased The Killers questionably titled debut album is radiofriendly styleoversubstance.
The Killers press release is surprisingly straightforward, explicitly detailing the punchcard proving ground that this Las Vegas quartet sprang from before phrases like bidding war and headlining tour entered their daily vocabulary.
But it can afford this bit of honesty, since the British music press has shouldered the load of attendant Killers hyperbole, and because the bands Hot Fuss checks most of its truths at the door to their 800foot limo.
By autumn 2003, their single Mr.
Brightside had secured the usual Best Band Ever overstatements from UK scribes, and the songs happily vacant grafting of New Order decadence to Housemartins bop bounced it hard into CMJ and SXSW.
Subsequently, the bands dance card attracted Warbucksian suitors of the largest variety.
And now, the resulting Hot Fuss drops on both sides of the Atlantic wrapped in this tabloid backstory, unable to separate its hype from its unabashedly referential sound.
Hot Fuss floats boatloads of blasÃ© lyrics about the pressures of being fabulous and the politics of fucking over an easily sippable blend of 80s and 90s British pop influences, rarely pausing to test the end product.
Topshelf mixing and attention to melody helps out the records appeal as lifestyle music for sheltered bloggers and female professionals who still wear cool hairstyles.
But damnit if that demographic leaves little room for a life of The Killers own.
Where are they, besides their wily references to past pop pros and a vague sense of Sin City cynicism? Not anywhere, really: The Killers are just the latest band to be born too quick inside the popular music vacuum, where expectations for broad accessibility kill dudes potential for deeper creativity quite fabulously dead.
This is disappointing, since Fuss better moments make The Killers knack for hooks and cool poses clear.
Vocalist/keyboardist Brandon Flowers has replaced his tonsils with melodrama hes hijacked Jarvis Cockers accent to make his Vegasboy rep sound that much tighter.
Brightside isnt getting near the dejection of The Stills it has no illusions about being anything other than a provocative single.
Its relentless keyboard n guitar racket shuns dourness altogether, as Flowers remarkably makes lines about a girlfriend getting off with some other guy resonate as some kind of weird triumph.
Somebody Told Mes deadpan couplets about having a boyfriend who looks like a girlfriend are similarly clever, but the cuts a brazen rewrite of The Strokes treblekick heroics.
Yes, Casablancas, et al ripped off pieces of their sound, too, but thats the difference they already did the ripping.
The Killers recombination arrives too late to be recognized as firsttier thievery.
At this point, Hot Fuss is just bringing it from whats already been brought.
Hot Fuss opener Jenny Was a Friend of Mine establishes Flowers admirable love for tones lost to rockers rising fears of sounding too fruity.
But as the albums singles follow in quick succession, rocking a sound softer than postpunk but full of the stuff that came right after it, The Killers cant figure a way to add resonance beyond adding more keyboards, more layered guitars, more cribbing of established tastemaking currency check the intellectualpropertycasewaitingtohappen that is Change Your Mind.
In other words, Hot Fuss has no use for subtlety.
It revels in its appearance as The Shit from day one, allowing for fillertype indulgences like the impossibly aimless and quite possibly shitty Everything Will Be Alright.
Meanwhile, Fuss UK version excises the brazenly contemporary raggedness of Change Your Mind for the astoundingly inane Indie Rock n Roll, a blaring joke of thickchorded guitar and arrogant, pitchcorrected yowling that gives out cornholes to every unknown American group valiantly trying to find the cracks of creativity in its titular sound.
So, its plain that The Killers have made a record more concerned with artifice than artistry.
If the intent is to place their albums principal teases on the next Now Thats What I Call Music compilation, then bravo.
But why does it try to squeak by as another deft pop reversion when it actually seems to be a revisionist cash dance? For the kids, I presume.
But Hot Fuss is not hardcore its hard evidence that its tough to focus on making great rock when youre preoccupied with cultivating an image.