The Killers – [Album]

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

We all thought they would reach their heights as 15-minutes-of famers, but The Killers have proven that they’re here to stay. With the electronic tones persistent throughout their breakout album, Hot Fuss, it was inevitable that the band would be forever reinventing themselves. In these last months of 2007, they’ve given us an amalgamated collection of re-released b-sides, several rarities, historic collaborations and the ever-entertaining cover track dotted throughout the album.

With a track featuring Lou Reed, The Killers start off their track set with “Tranquilize.” The song makes it feel like the Velvets are getting back together—the track's indicative of discordant riffs and heavy distortion. All the while, though, the underlying token Killers staple of Brendan Flowers’ electric keyboard wails away.

Perhaps the most interesting track to come out of this collection of b-sides is their above-par cover of “Shadowplay.” Already inclined to being a band that plays electro-jams, they’ve taken the Joy Division gem to another height, perhaps giving it an edginess that makes it okay for them to even touch upon such sacred legends of across-the-pond music lore.

Covers come in the form of “Romeo and Juliet,” first made famous by Dire Straits. The band parallels the placement of The Killers in today’s society as Dire Straits were using classic rock conventions within their music at a time when punk rock reigned, especially in the throes of the U.K. scene. We’ve always revered The Killers for being innovative and inventive in that sense, so they not only cover this track, but seem to pay tribute to legends—the likes of which paved the way for difference within constant sameness. This track had been recorded at Abbey Road Studios, which may be the main element that gives it that particular, original style. Honestly, what else but fragments of gems and flakes of pure gold have we seen released by that studio?

Also on the covers front, we get the country-twanged styling of a cover from The First Editions. “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” was first made famous by none other than Kenny Rogers and his brethren in music arms.

This way, we have something other than his ridiculous Roasters chain of failed restaurant establishments to remember him by. It only took a band like The Killers to do something like immortalize a hit track from his now passing acoustic-guitar-wielding days.

Also if you really wanted to download that one song they probably played during the scrolling end-credits of Spiderman 3, then look no further. “Move Away” graces this compilation as a track from the original movie soundtrack. It’s rocking and its thumping riffs are seriously jam worthy.
With a series of tracks from different releases and versions off previous albums brought together under one album moniker, Sawdust is like that one sweet mix tape you wish you could've made. It’s filled with gems fans would positively drool over and the band does a pretty awesome job showcasing their versatility. It’s something that lets you sift through the flack they’ve been getting for being the proverbial “sell out” or for being radio-play golden boys. With Sawdust you get to see the versatile talent truly embedded within this one-of-a-kind band.

Sawdust (B-Sides and Rarities) is out now on Island

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