Sunday, January 4, 2015

Hot Fuss (AM7)

The whole revisionist scene took itself way seriously. The new millennium was all about 80s retro bands who thought they did it better - Interpol, Franz Ferdinand, The Shins - and maybe they did, but it wasn't any fun. If there was something that set apart the 80s cult with no name ideology, it was fun. Then came Hot Fuss, like the 80s learned a lesson; still all kinds of fun - Beach Boys fun - but wait, that's a guitar! That's some kind of crazy pounding tom-tom, what, these boys are playing instruments? With thumping bass lines at the forefront, power drums at every turn, huge synths blazing under frantic vocals, there's a bit of a chore pinpointing the retro - Frankie Goes to Hollywood? Blur? Maybe Suede in the 90s? Like Donny and Marie, The Killers are a little bit country, a little bit rock 'n' roll, some Tin Pan Alley and all kinds of Motown. The Killers have a decidedly glam rock appeal and Hot Fuss, though front-loaded with the best songs, was one of the best albums of the new century.

And though I said it was fun, the lyrics belie the insecurities of post 9-11 America. The standout track on Hot Fuss is "Mr. Brightside," which takes self-destructive, jealous paranoia beyond the most gut wrenching Cure song, because it's not about love, or unrequited love, it's about obsession. Singer Bandon Flowers appears on the verge of a breakdown during this play-by-play of infidelity:

"Now I'm falling asleep/and she's calling a cab
While he's having a smoke/and she's tacking a drag
Now they're going to bed/and my stomach is sick
And it's all in my head/But she's touching his chest now
He takes off her dress now...letting me go."

Hot Fuss was the first real 21st Century album, derivative of nothing.

No comments:

Post a Comment