The Killers

The Killers

Las Vegas is known for a good deal of things, from the high-feathered headpieces of showgirls to the dense aggregation of casinos, lounge lizards, and woeful tourists who absent-mindedly gambled away their kids’ college fund. Good music, however, is not commonly associated with the city of sin. That is, until a certain Brandon Flowers was kicked out of his synthpop band Blush Response in 2002 and answered a small newspaper ad posted by Killers’ guitarist David Keuning, resulting in a union that produced perhaps the Killers biggest hit, “Mr. Brightside.”


With the release of 2004 debut album, Hot Fuss, the Killers were rewarded the peculiar dichotomy of being both MTV darlings subject to the shrill rapture of thousands of young girls and boys as well as being received and generally accepted by a more music-conscientious circle of people. In a year when Britney Spears eked a 55-minute marriage out of a sloppy, drunken night; when Janet Jackson flashed a be-dazzled breast to millions of football enthusiasts; and, perhaps most catastrophic, when Jay-Z and Linkin’ Park’s collaborative EP, Collision Course, rocked the charts and racked up nearly 2 million in sales in the U.S. alone, the Killers were a relative breath of fresh air. With its synth-heavy rock anthems and tales of emo-woe that somehow managing to be both bellicose and seductive, the members of the Killers (in addition to Flowers and Keuning, the band features Mark Stoermer on bass and Ronnie Vanucci on drums) found themselves at the apex of mainstream success, selling over 3 million copies of their debut in the U.S.


2006’s Sam’s Town found the band culling their inner Springsteen as they took aim at the great Americana with quasi-patriotic anthems and a more amped-up rock sound. Tracks like “When You Were Young,” “Uncle Johnny,” and the title track displayed a band unashamed to flex its muscles while still boasting wildly catchy hooks and youthful appeal. 2007 marked the release of a B-sides, rarities, covers, and remixes compilation titled Sawdust. Of the new songs recorded, “Tranquilize,” which features Lou Reed, won the Best International/Alternative Track at NME’s first ever USA Awards.


For its third full-length, Day & Age, the Killers employed Stuart Price, who is perhaps best known for his work on Madonna’s Confessions On A Dance Floor. Shooting for a more playful, club-ready sound, tracks like “Human” and “Spaceman” make for upbeat dance anthems that flirt with irreverence to the point of bordering on the insipid. It proved to be a successful departure for the band, however, with Day & Age going on to sell over 3 million copies worldwide.


In 2010, it was announced that all members of the band would be taking a hiatus to pursue solo careers. ~Bruce Scott

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