The Killers, a band impossible not to love. I first saw The Killers headlining Tennents Vital Festival in Belfast in the summer of 2014. Originally going to see supporting act Bastille, I couldn’t help but describe The Killers set as sheer awesome. The showmanship and vocals by Brandon Flowers and the band’s immense sound pushed this concert into one of the best nights of my life. I was unsuccessful in my pursuit of tickets for their 3 Arena show and, although infuriated by Ticketmaster’s money-making tactics, I can’t say I was surprised by the fast sell-out. Their new album, Wonderful Wonderful, is a small consolation prize.
Their first album since 2012, Wonderful Wonderful is one which takes the band in a new direction. Reminiscent of Brandon Flowers’ solo work, the eponymous opening track starts with a synth battle cry, before heavy drums provide that vital ‘Killers feel’. Vocals reign pure throughout, with Flowers as the focus, but additional backing adds a real edge to this song. The overall instrumentation of all of the songs place heavy emphasis on synthesisers which, although we’ve experienced this in the band’s music before, gives a new age feel to this title track. Good start to the album.
The next track on the album, ‘The Man’, recently released as a single, has been clogging the radio airwaves for the past few weeks and it’s easy to see why. Again, starting with heavy synth before the distorted guitar kicks in, this single shows the band’s intent with their new music. It’s a statement to the industry and artists alike. While this doesn’t have quite the same impact as past anthems from the band, it gives the listener a real sense that this song is about power and resistance.
On the other end of the spectrum, ‘Some Kind of Love’, provides a pulled-back ballad, as is rarely seen from this band. While the repetition of the lyric from the title proves irritating at times, you can’t help but be drawn into the succulent melody and a guitar riff that breaks up the music and lyrics.
There are plenty of other notable mentions on the album. ‘Rut’ provides a rhythmic backing that drives the hopeless feeling of the lyrics towards resolution. ‘Run For Cover’ is definitely a song which has an original ‘Killers feel’ to it. It nearly feels like a rewrite of ‘Spaceman’ from their 2008 album, Day and Age.
Wonderful Wonderful definitely isn’t usual Killers, the band have taken a step forward. While I’m not sure if this was the best move for them, and the album wouldn’t be one of my favourites, it is so good to see the band producing albums again. Welcome back!