Killers Set Sights on New York
By Roger Friedman.
July 25,2006

OK, itís a cheap headline. But The Killers are one of the few new rock acts in recent years to try and establish an actual career. Now their second album, called "Samís Town," is set for release on Oct. 3 by Island Records.

Last week, L.A. Reid - head of Island Def Jam - played me a couple of the tracks. Last night, a group of young people and yours truly heard the whole thing at a listening session thrown by Reid, Steve Bartels and Rob Stevenson. You know, if a record company is going to give you a 10-week lead on a CD, the least you can do is show up and listen.

The Killers - if you've never heard their huge hits "Mr. Brightside" and "Somebody Told Me" - are clever lyricists. They also sound like U2 mixed with Spandau Ballet and crossed with either Talking Heads or a half-dozen British groups circa 1982, not to mention Queen after a long night. Thatís OK, though: Theyíve distilled all this into a shiny sound that could be considered retro morose. It works, which is all anyone in the biz needs to know.

The first single off of the new album is called "When You Were Young," and it features a memorable opening line: "You sit there in your heartache waiting on some beautiful boy to save you from your old ways."

Words are enunciated in Killers songs, so "heartache" and "beautiful boy" leap out of the speakers. From there, weíre off and running. Since Oct. 3 is a long way off, I will just tell you now that a couple of other highlights include "Read My Mind" ("The teenage queen/the loaded gun/the drop dead dream/the chosen one/a southern drawl/and the world unseen/a city wall/and a trampoline) and the creepily exquisite "Uncle Jonny" ("When everyone else refrained/My uncle Jonny did cocaine").

Brandon Flowersí husky voice is more Freddie Mercury than Freddie was, and the whole of "Samís Town" (what these Nevadans call Las Vegas) may be without the humor of the platinum-selling "Hot Fuss," but itís sure to attract just as many fans. And listen - L.A. Reid and pals are on a little roll. Besides these Killers, they have the original "Killer" - Lionel Richie. Heís got a hit single with "I Call it Love" and a potential blockbuster album about to hit the stores.

Could things be looking up? Maybe...