Remember a few years ago when Drew Barrymore’s boyfriend was sonically schtupping Television and the Fall, and Interpol was dry humping Joy Division and the Jesus and Mary Chain and it all sounded current, fresh even? Well, the Killers do too, only they’ve forgotten a major nuance of the old art-is-theft routine: You gots to put a spin on it, yo, or you straight come off like a chump.
To their credit, though, the Killers make an admirable case for the chumps of the world (as current record sales confirm). The band channels the currently fashionable past as well as anyone else currently channeling the currently fashionable past, bringing stolen hooks and blazer-tight production to their ambiguously retro guitary synth-pop. Lyrically, singer/keyboardist Brandon Flowers emotes and ponders as though weaned on Blake Schwarzenbach as much as Robert Smith, lending a semblance of identity to the Killers that otherwise is almost non-existent. Forget the Faint; this is the real Blank Wave.
Jonathan Mahalak writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.