The Killers - Hot Fuss

Alex Worsnip 03/06/2004

Rating: 3/5

The 80s revival steams ahead with The Killers, who effortlessly exude the sleaze of their native Las Vegas. Nevertheless rather British-sounding, clearly influenced by The Cure, The Smiths and Joy Division, it also incorporates a dash of the much more upbeat, slightly angular punk-funk of Hot Hot Heat or The Rapture - meaning that they come across as bedfellows of Stellastarr*. Opener 'Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine' is powered along on a funky bass riff and stabbing keyboard synths and sweeps, while 'All The Things That I've Done' manages to be euphorically energetic yet gorgeously melancholy at once, before suddenly taking a U-turn 3 minutes in with the introduction of a gospel choir singing "I got soul but I'm not a soldier", building back into the main body of the song exquisitely.

Singles 'Mr Brightside' and 'Somebody Told Me' are both incredible catchy, melodic and hummable, and the latter in particular is a near-perfect slice of danceable, sexually ambiguous indie-disco. The album's hedonistic feel is refreshing given the influence of depressing music on it, and it makes a nice variant, though 'Indie Rock n Roll' is a little tweely self-referencing, with a faux-epic, slightly blustery chorus - not even coming close to Sebadoh's frantic, humorous, exhilarating summary of the same subject, 'Gimme Indie Rock'. But moments like this are few and far between and in the company of tracks like the brazenly horny 'Midnight Show', you'd be churlish to dwell on it for long.

Of course, The Killers' sound is not revolutionary and they are admittedly the latest in a long line of similar bands, despite their own twist of sound which is evident in their unusually heavy reliance on synths. However, this is an excellent, upbeat record that will get people dancing and lodge tunes into your head, sounding pretty damn cool in the process.