A good bit of gutsy synth-pop...
The same day Sin City’s synth-wielding navel-gazers [a]The Killers[/a] play Liverpool, whispers reach our ears that their second ever single ‘Mr Brightside’ looks an absolute dead-cert to stampede the Top Ten. Well, at least the Top 15.
As you can imagine, such news sends shock-waves of joy rippling through NME Towers – following [a]Franz Ferdinand[/a], [a]Snow Patrol[/a] and [a]Hope Of The States[/a], [a]The Killers[/a] have become the latest in a string of indie warriors to snatch chart triumph from the jaws of bad Mr Pop. Only, tonight it becomes pretty obvious that this is one success story we’re going to have to relinquish.
While [a]The Killers[/a] might have an unhealthy preoccupation with The Smiths, there’s absolutely no mistaking them as anything other than pure, if highly pretentious, pop. The evidence is everywhere – from the bras (and haemorrhoid cream – don’t ask, we didn’t) pelting them onstage, to the fact that, like [a]Beyonce[/a] and [a]Outkast[/a], they may have some diamond singles, but the rest of the tunes are more fillers than – ahem – killers. Although when we say singles, we’re also including certain as yet unreleased songs so bombastically brilliant (‘Jenny Was
A Friend Of Mine’ and ‘All These Things That
I’ve Done’) that we can only assume they too
will soon become future chart-toppers.
Much as mathematically, 50 per cent good
plus 50 per cent lacklustre retro-electro adds up to a mean average of mediocrity, practically speaking, it’s much more of a rollercoaster. When it’s great – like on the [a]Suede[/a]-esque tragi-pop of ‘Jenny…’, the souped-up keyboards of sexual-paranoia anthem, ‘Mr Brightside’ and the gospel-ripping [I]”I got soul but I’m not a soldier”[/I] refrain
of ‘All These Things…’ – it’s spectacular. When
it’s bad – the alleged non piss-taking, cartoon anglophilia of ‘Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll’
and singer Brandon Flowers’ affected manic
stare that is perhaps more [a]Marc Almond[/a] than
Ian Curtis – it’s hilarious.
Which, we suppose, perfectly illustrates
the case of teenyboppers everywhere – even
at its worst, pop music is a helluva lot more entertaining to watch than [a]Snow Patrol[/a].