The Killers

Record review

ACL Fest Reviews

The Killers

Hot Fuss (Island) Cheer up, the wait's finally over. Of course, the band conjuring this Hot Fuss looks nothing like Duran Duran. The Killers aren't even English; they're as American as Las Vegas, their home base. All that aside, you'd easily imagine their debut as the lost New Romantic tape unearthed for the first time. Blame it on lead singer Brandon Flowers, who doesn't so much front the band as command it. His Ian Curtis drawl adds weight to dance-floor anthems like "Somebody Told Me." Flowers pens compositions that evoke a spirit from when goth was as much about love as it was about gloom. "Mr. Brightside" reminds listeners of an era before dancing meant shoe gazing, when live drums and drum machines were distinguishable. What's more, the Killers are wholly convincing, even though the members aren't much older than the genre they're pilfering. Maybe Echo & the Bunnymen meant to write and record "Smile Like You Mean It," but it's doubtful they would've polished it to perfection the way the Killers have. Plus, these novices already pack some arena-stomping anthems like "All These Things That I've Done," which includes a gospel choir chanting the refrain, "I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier" over an ocean of Dave Keuning's guitars and Ronnie Vannucci's exploding drums. Not even Duran Duran could successfully pull off something as ambitious as that. (Friday, 1pm, Cingular stage)

****

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