Smile Like You Mean It, Dammit!

The-Killers       Published in Issue 16, Craccum Magazine 2016.
Every good human has seen rom com The Holiday. Meaning every good human has witnessed Cameron Diaz singing (extremely out of tune) to indie rock band The Killers hit Mr Brightside. A classic movie, a classic song – and a classic band.
Lately I’ve been re-listening to my old Killers albums. Just ’cause. And as I’ve been doing this re-listening, I’ve re-remembered why they’re so rad. So rad, in fact, that I’m calling for a Killers comeback. This gem of a band really has it all – fab lyrics, a mighty fine frontman (Brandon Flowers amiright?) and music that you can dance to, sing/scream to and feel nostalgic to.
For a trip down memory lane, start your Killers journey with their first album, Hot Fuss (2004). So many bangers. This is where previously mentioned tune Mr Brightside originated from, which, undoubtedly, we’ve all lost it to at some point. Other notable songs include Change Your Mind and my personal fave, Smile Like You Mean It. The latter seems more relevant than ever, Brandon wisely telling us to “change your ways while you’re young.” Then there’s the absolute anthem Somebody told Me (you had a boyfriend, who looked like a girlfriend, that I had in February of last year), and of course All These Things That I Have Done. As fellow Craccum contributor Catriona Britton points out, “‘I got soul but I’m not a soldier’ is one of the most underrated lyrics of all time.”
Two years on from Hot Fuss, The Killers blessed us with more goodness in the form of Sam’s Town. Again, SO MANY BANGERS. For me, this album is just a straight reminder of those awkward – but great – teenage years. While Bones may be considered the most well-known hit from Sam’s Town, there really isn’t a bad song on the whole album. When You Were Young is insanely feel-good, while For Reasons Unknown and Uncle Jonny are just straight classics. One can’t overlook This River Is Wild, though. What a rager. There’s something about this album that made it so great in the noughties and makes it still so great now. Perhaps it’s the uniqueness of it – I really can’t think of another band that sounds the way The Killers sound in Sam’s Town. Definite ten out of ten.
I’m going to ignore The Killers most recent album because I believe their older work is the best, but Day and Age (2008) does deserve recognition. I remember seeing The Killers play at Vector Arena in 2009, when I was sixteen. I was so close to the stage that I could see sweat dripping off Brandon’s face. It was magical. Many a-song from Day and Age were played, including that absolute tune Human. Other gems include Losing Touch and Spaceman.
As I’ve said, however, it’s the oldschool Killers that we need to bring back. Bring them back, and bring them back now. Great music doesn’t die, it’s the listeners that change. But as listeners we also have the power to re-discover musical genius from the past (or 2004. Really not that long ago). So, in sum: dust off your Killers CD, or if you no longer have a CD player and aren’t okay with sitting in your car having a music party like some of us losers, get onto iTunes and buy that shit.
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