The Killers 'Battle Born'

Updated: 1 Mar 2013

Time Out says

Rating: 4/5

There was a moment when British indie music fans regarded The Killers as celebrated sons. Although their songs reeked of the seedy, sequined glamour of the Vegas strip that spawned them, their influences were resolutely British. An early video for ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’, shot down Brick Lane and featuring the band flanked by a parade of ardent fans, confirmed the feeling was mutual. Three LPs later, their days of causing chaos on sticky dancefloors has morphed into global arena worship. With such a relentless rise, the quartet’s 2010 hiatus and subsequent solo offshoots came as no surprise.

Now reunited, ‘Battle Born’ bursts forth with sparkling bombast thanks to ‘Flesh and Bones’ and the triumphant gallop of ‘Runaways’, which instantly recall 2006’s ‘Sam’s Town’ rather than their last effort, ‘Day & Age’. Unlike the latter, which suffered from a flabby backend, the quality of their fourth record barely falters. Instead of songs about neon tigers and aliens, 31-year-old lead singer Brandon Flowers turns inward, reminiscing about the pulse-quickening thrill of a lust’s first flush, versus the weight of responsibility.

Yet for all his rosy-tinted ruminations on the ease of the early days Flowers keeps faith in the moment – through the ’80s-tinged ‘Deadlines and Commitments’ and his ode to long distance love, ‘Here With Me’, a lighters ahoy moment with a fanfare of brass and strings. Subtlety is not The Killers’ forté and yet there’s still an intimacy here, a twist to his words that offers targeted solace as well as the unity amidst masses that their 24-carat singalongs engender. They were ours for a heartbeat, sure, but they’re too good not to share. Kim Taylor Bennett