The Killers: When You Were Young

Brandon plus beard equals Nu Broooooooce. Result!

Usually it’s ‘difficult second albums’ that gives fans the fear ahead of a band’s comeback, but Killers supporters have been plagued by facial hair. Brandon Flowers’ new whiskers have prompted everything from petitions demanding their shaving, to those delving into the follicles searching for deeper meaning. Flowers’ razor became redundant just as the singer started sharing his visions for second album ‘Sam’s Town’. Glamorous indie rock’n’roll and “the best British band not from Britain” out. In: Bruce Springsteen, Americana and the folklore of The Killers’ native land. All that had actually been part of the band’s soul; take ‘Smile Like You Mean It’’s twisted nostalgia. But just how would a facially fuzzy Killers sound?

Now, streamed on the band’s website three months early, we have our first full-length clue: comeback single ‘When You Were Young’, is an explosive evolution into widescreen. The synths are less icy, while Brandon’s curious outsider has – fuelled by The Boss – grown into a folksy storyteller, as his band place us firmly in the dusty wilderness at the end of the Las Vegas strip, referencing hurricanes, heartache and Jesus. Bristling with hope, ‘When You Were Young’ is emotionally rawer than its predecessors, yet shares their style, sophistication and pop charm as, with a racing urgency, The Killers blend true guts with a steely elegance, weaving a new folk standard for our often contradictory times.

Pink blazers, eyeliner and a beard? Trust us, it will be the look come September.