Killing Time

The Killers move forward into the past

It's too soon to tell if the U.S. version of Fuss, released in June on the Island imprint, will set stateside cash registers ablaze, but the disc is unpretentious enough to give it a chance. Whereas some groups on the Killers' wavelength feign innovation so strenuously that their borrowings lose their amusement value, these boys just want to have fun emulating the ditties that entranced them in their youth. "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine" kicks off with helicopter effects and a hearty "whooo!" before evolving into a head-bopping groover that's pure Robert Smith, whereas "On Top" declares its allegiance to Duran Duran in its first line: "Remember Rio and get down." Like Simon Lebon before him, Flowers loves to strike lyrical poses, and the sexier, the better. Take "Midnight Show," in which he interrupts his throes of ecstasy to declare, "You got a real short skirt/I wanna look up, look up, look up, yeah, yeah!" The closing "Everything Will Be Alright" is a trippy, midtempo frolic that gives mindless pop a good name.

This easygoing attitude has made it easier for Vannucci and company to enjoy their ride on the Hype Express, which has already included a prime slot at May's Coachella festival. Some underground musicians heading toward the big time are consumed by guilt, but not the Killers, whose "Indie Rock 'n' Roll," which can be found only on the U.K. version of Hot Fuss, is a celebration, not an excuse for moping.

As for those originality questions that keep cropping up, Vannucci claims to not be bothered in the slightest. "We're being compared to some of the best bands that there've ever been, in my opinion," he says. "There's a lot worse things than that."

Killing is my business...: Mark Stoermer (from left), Ronnie Vannucci, Brandon Flowers and David Keuning are the Killers.
Killing is my business...: Mark Stoermer (from left), Ronnie Vannucci, Brandon Flowers and David Keuning are the Killers.

Details

The Killers headline The Adventure Club anniversary party on Thursday, July 22. Openers include Dallas' Sorta, the pAper chAse and Radiant*.

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