Whether your interest waned after ‘Hot Fuss’ or held all the way through to 2012’s Americana-drenched ‘Battle Born’, it stands testament to their impact on rock music over the last two decades that most people have something to say about The Killers.
Now all in their mid-30s and with the inevitable side and solo projects largely out of their system, the Las Vegas icons have recently announced that the half-decade wait for their fifth record will be brought to an end this year through ‘Wonderful Wonderful’, with Brian Eno and Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler expected to feature on the album.
Without a release date or much in the way of a tracklist to go on, though, we’ve instead been thrown something of a curveball in the form of a new single in ‘The Man’.
A curveball, perhaps, because although we’ve heard everything from new wave to heartland rock from these guys, they certainly haven’t put anything quite like this before. For one, it delves a lot deeper into a funk sound than even Brandon Flowers’ experimental solo efforts have ever dared to.
But, in its apeing of the ’80s à la Talking Heads rather than Springsteen, it also marks a considerable change of direction away from the all-Americanness that has become more prominent.
Whether this would be an interesting song were it not released by The Killers, though, is another question; its lightheartedness lends it to something of a corny quality at several points, and there seems hardly much chance of anyone mentioning it in the same breath as ‘Mr Brightside’ or ‘Read My Mind’ in years to come.
What it signifies, nonetheless, is a wry smile from Mr Flowers telling us exactly what he is, and that his crew are not ready to rest on their laurels just yet.