The Killers is an American rock band that started back in 2002 in Las Vegas. The killers has four members, being their frontman Brandon Flowers, who formed the band after watching an Oasis show at the Hard Rock hotel. There have been no changes in the formation since it started, all original members remain.
They have released three albums so far and have sold over 12 million copies world-wide, and are about to release a new album in 2008.
Brandon Flowers was part of the band "Blush Response", but left it in 2001, refusing to move to California. Searching for a new band he came across an add in a local Las Vegas newspaper where David Keuning was looking for members to form a band in the style of "The Cure", "Oasis" and "The Smiths", so they met and decided to start "The Killers", recruiting drummer Ronnie Vannucci and bassist Mark Stoermer.
The name of the band comes after a fiction band that features in a New Order video called "Crystal", and years later when The Killers became famous they actually got to play live that song along with New Order.
Before becoming popular the band used to play gigs in clubs in Las Vegas, while attending "normal" jobs in the daytime they made their first concert in a club named "Tramps". Their gigs were good and eventually label representatives began to pay attention to The Killers, who ended up signing with a british label named "Lizard King Records".
"Jenny Was a Friend of Mine"
"Smile Like You Mean It"
"Somebody Told Me"
"All These Things That I've Done"
"Andy, You're a Star"
"Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll" "Believe Me Natalie"
"Everything Will Be Alright"
Their fisrt album, "Hot Fuss" was released in 2004, and was particularly successful in the UK, partly because the bands is heavily influenced by british groups and also because Brandon sometimes sings with a british accent.
The album includes eleven tracks that resemble the band's influences, lots of synthesizer layers that recall the 80's new-wave, mixed with catchy guitar riffs and lyrics that speak of lovers, murders and obssesions, which even include some gospel choirs in themes such as "All these things that I've done". The album is recent but its sound manages to taste like the rock classics, The Killers sure know how to blend styles and make for an explosive formula on their debut album.
Thir first single was "Somebody Told Me", which reached high position in UK charts, followed by "Mr. Brightside", and "All These Things That I've Done".
That same year the groups popularity increased after appearing on american TV shows such as "The O.C." adn "Supernatural".
In 2005 the band took part in the Glastonbury Festival, Live 8 and Balado, and even played along with U2 in Viena and later with Bono in Las Vegas.
"When You Were Young"
"For Reasons Unknown"
"Read My Mind"
"This River Is Wild"
"Why Do I Keep Counting?"
The Killers second album arrived at the end of 2006, "Sam's Town", named after a popular Vegas casino. The album has 12 songs that overall have a more rock n' roll sound to them, probably due to the bands desire to be equally successful in the US market as they were in the UK. The result is an album that is quite different from their previous one. There's a "Springsteen" flavour in this second album that overlays their new-wave debut sound. Now, that could be a good thing if only Springsteen wasn't so unique, pure and hard to imitate.
Flowers boasted at release that Sam's Town was "one of the greatest albums of the last 20 years", but after listening to it and seeing the critic reviews it got that really didn't come true. Sam's town was successful though, with a good first single "When you were young" and a second "Bones" which even featured a video directed by Tim Burton, the band kept getting high in the lists and continued promotion in TV shows.
Either the band couldn't come up with a similar sound as their previous album or decided to evolve in a different direction, truth is Sam's town, though being a good album on its own, doesn't live up to the expectations the band created after their awesome debut two years back.
"All the Pretty Faces"
"Leave the Bourbon On the Shelf"
"Under the Gun"
"Where the White Boys Dance"
"Show You How"
"Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll"
"Who Let You Go?"
"The Ballad of Michael Valentine"
"Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town"
"Sam's Town" (Abbey Road Version)
"Romeo and Juliet"
"Mr. Brightside" (hidden track)
Their third album is not a new studio album but a compilation of B-sides and covers. It's called "Sawdust" and was released by the end of 2007. There are some new tracks such as "Tranquilize", in which Lou Reed sings too, and a Joy Division cover named "Shadowplay", plus the energetic "Move away" track they made for Spiderman 3 movie.
The album also includes many versions of their previous two albums, and unveils an interesting track named "Leave the bourbon on the shelf" that somehow fits between the stories told in their previous hits "Midnight Show" and "Jenny was a friend of mine", that is known as the "murder trilogy".
"Ruby don't take your love to town" is obviously a kenny Rogers cover which doesn't dissapoint, adn the album also includes a Dire Straits cover, "Romeo and Juliet".
Last track is hidden and is no other than a version of their great "Mr Brightside" though, as regarded by many fans, it doesn't get better than the original.
The album was embraced quite well by the critics, and although it's not a real "new" album it didn't dissapoint, as many expected when they first heard about a "covers & B-sides" Killers new album.
Present and future
The Killers are currently on tour and will be playing in USA, Canada, and some European countries during August 2008.
Their new album will be recorded in 2008, it will be produced by Stuart Price and should be finished before the band attends their concerts in Reading and Leeds. Brandon has stated that it will follow the direction of their "Mr Brightside" cover in Sawdust, that's why it will be produced by Price, who also made the mix of that track.
The Killers, though being american, have a distinct British sound, specially on their debut album, but their influences go beyond the brit-pop and post-punk, giving The Killers a particular sound that reminds of the 80s but yet deliver solid rock and roll with a vegas flavour that only they can provide.
They have stated in many ocassions that some of their favourite bands are New Order, The Cure, David Bowie, The Smiths,Depeche mode, Duran Duran, Pet Shop Boys, U2 and specially Joy Division, and also american classics such as Bruce Springsteen. Other famous bands that The Killers remind of, or share some common aspects with, are The Eagles, The Strokes, Smashing Pumpkins and The Cars.
As every reknown artist their style is influenced by many different bands, but to sum up what they sound like is a british rock band with an 80's new age touch plus that "Las Vegas" style & stories.
Brandon Flowers – Vocals and keyboard
David Brent "Dave" Keuning – Guitar
Mark Stoermer – Bass
Ronald "Ronnie" Vannucci Jr. – Drums
Hot Fuss (2004)
Sam's Town (2006)
2004 - Somebody Told Me
2004 - Mr. Brightside
2005 - Smile Like You Mean It
2005 - All These Things That I've Done
2006 - When You Were Young
2006 - Bones
2007 - Read My Mind
2007 - For Reasons Unknown
2007 - Shadowplay
2007 - Tranquilize
2006 - A Great Big Sled
2007 - Don't Shoot Me Santa
Mr. Brightside (Uk)
Somebody Told Me
All These Things That I've Done (Uk)
Smile Like You Mean It (Uk)
All These Things that I've Done
When You Were Young
A Great Big Sled
Read my Mind
For Reasons Unknown
Don't Shoot Me Santa
Originally by Fran