Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Hey, you: The Killers are back and they are not messing about.

Except with this conch shell, for reasons unknown
It doesn't seem like five years since The Killers last released an album, possibly because Mr Brightside is still one of the UK's most-streamed songs of all time - but, yes, a cursory glance at Wikipedia confirms they've been on a self-imposed hiatus since 2012's Battle Born.

That all ends TODAY, with the premiere of their new single The Man. "It's pretty funky," Brandon Flowers told Annie Mac, who premiered the song earlier tonight. "Funkier than anything we've ever done before."

He's not wrong. The Man is a strutting peacock of a song, that delves deep into the new-wavey, 1980s references The Killers plundered so well on Hot Fuss - the choppy guitars of Talking Heads, the synth stylings of New Order, and the sugar rush choruses of imperial phase Duran Duran. There's even a nod to the late, great David Bowie ("Faaaaame!"), whose Hunky Dory Brandon once referred to as, "the most important record to me, ever."

But amidst that pile-up of influence, The Man is 100% The Killers and, in a way I couldn't have imagined, a stunning return to form. Judging by the lyrics, Brandon knows it:

I got gas in the tank
I got money in the bank
I got news for you baby
You're looking at the man.

Even though the chorus is almost 100% tongue-in-cheek (compared to, say, the hollow self-aggrandisement of DJ Khaled's The One), you can't deny he's got his swagger back*.


* Or is the lyric a thinly-vieled attack on the Trump administration? The references to fossil fuels, untold riches and deluded self-belief certainly fit... And there's a lyric about being "USDA certified lean", the USDA being the department of agriculture, which is facing some of the deepest cuts under the new president. The Killers have always had a Springsteen-esque impulse to represent blue collar America, so the lyric could easily be read in that context.

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