Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Worst Band In The World - The Killers


The Killers – The Worst Band in the World?


Who are the biggest band in the world? Frankly who gives a dam! The worst band in the world that’s far more interesting.

In the marathon path to claim the coveted prize of The World’s Worst Band same big names have fallen by the wayside. Coldplay, U2, The Strokes even the Kaiser Chiefs where all in contention until The Killers sprinted past them all to steal the prize.

Why The Killers? What makes The Killers the worst band in the world? How have they managed to claim the gold medal when they are so many other bands that could have reached the top of the podium? Well let me explain why.

Brandon Flowers and his fellow Las Vegas cohorts ring as hollow and empty as a death bed religious conversion. The Zang Tumb Tuum they produce is a wretched empty confection of heritage pop influences with nothing added. They dry hump the corpse of 80s music in a misplaced act of affection. They aren’t postmodern simply pastiche. The Killers are all sign and no signifier, eyeliner over heartbreak, affectation over emotion. Artless and heartless. A decaf skinny soya latte of a band.

The Killers started well but have rapidly descended into bland soulless artifice. The opening fours tracks on Hot Fuss blended a warped sense of New Orders rain soaked melancholy, with a hint of sexual tension and a wide screen desert escapism. On Day and Age they sound like a Spandau Ballet b-side from 1985. That’s like starting out dreaming of being Picasso and ending up painting fences for a living. The warning signs of The Killers fate arrive by track five of their debut record, All These Things I’ve Done. Anyone who thinks that the lyric “I’ve got soul but I am not a soldier” is anything other than the dribbling ramblings of three year old child should be shot. It is beyond risible and to think it should be committed to record. Heaven help us.

The Killers journey to becoming the worst band in the world has been astonishing. The speed of the diminishing returns is well in place before the end of Hot Fuss. From synth pop to the school boy Springsteen rip offs on Sam Town’s to the cocktail bar car crash that is Day and Age. When I first heard Day and Age I was reminded of Greil Marcus opening line in his review of Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait. “What is this shit?”

Yet The Killers are headlining festivals, shifting units and gaining acres of press coverage in everything from Sunday supplements to the tabloid press. They are the Oasis of indie pop without Noel’s wit and charisma or the belligerent magnetism of Liam. They repackage a comfortable sound with an empty centre and flog it as something new. They are no juxtapositions, no surprises, no leaps of faith of strange exotic detours. No searching, no ache, no pain, no bliss. The Killers revisionist, reactionary and soulless. The Worst Band in the world? No issue!

Tony Heywood 2009(c)

20 comments:

Katy said...

I pity you. The fact that you are so narrow-minded means that you could be missing out on a lot of great music which is around today. Please stop insulting perfectly good musicians and their fans and find something more worthwhile to do with your time than write childish reviews like this one.

I could have guessed you were an Oasis fan.

jbtrainor said...

Have you a soul? Are you human? It's ok for you not to like them, but to not even understand how others can connect with the music? That I just can't understand. I believe that taste in music is about making a connection, feeling something, for one reason or another, from that music. Clearly you don't feel it with the Killers, so there's no use in my trying to convince you otherwise. For me, its the deepest connection I've ever experienced to music, so I am forever grateful to have the Killers a part of the world that we live in. I'll even go so far as to say that there are far more people out there who, given a choice between the two, would vote for them as "best band in the world" rather than "worst". Take a poll and we can talk again sometime.

boilermaker said...

I don't like Coldplay, I don't like U2 - I can see through their bullshit. But The Killers are amazing - their music is something I can lose myself in - it's happy, sad, inspiring, dark - everything! If you were at Lollapalooza and saw 40,000 people stand in 106F and 70% humidity waiting 3 hours before their set - you would know that you are missing out.

lucyyyyy said...

The Killers are anything but "soulless". Hot Fuss was less emotional than Day & Age by far. Have you not HEARD any Day & Age songs? The World We Live In? Neon Tiger? Human? You're talking absolute crap.

Tara said...

Who tied your knickers in a knot? I don't know what kind of filter you've got placed in your ears but clearly you don't hear the Killers the way that many other people do. You're entitled to your opinion but I'm sure there are a legion of fans who would beg to differ with your opinions. Lyrical case in point: "Whatchyou gonna do with all that junk, all that junk inside that trunk? I'm gonna g-g-get you drunk." I mean, really. There are bands worse than the Killers I assure you.

Have you ever stood at a Killers concert with Mr. Flowers' black and silky silhouette standing lone in a sea of blue light bobbing silently and rhythmically, his mike stand held high overhead while masses chant back "I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier"? That's not something you can blog about because it's an experience that soaks into your very fiber and core. If you've experienced it maybe you better understand it rather than try to explain away the meaning of the lyrics. Killers songs live are felt and experienced. Sadly you've missed that mark.

Helen said...

Now I'm a fan of The Killers and I consider them to be the best band in the world and the best live act that I've ever seen.

I'm just wondering if you are the same Tony Heywood who reviewed Hot Fuss a few years ago? If so, you seem to have changed your opinion somewhat !!! I quote
'One of the more remarkable tracks is All These Things That I've Done, an epic multi-tempo song in which Flowers sings the incantatory lyrics, "I got soul but I'm not a soldier," accompanied by superb gospel choir The Sweet Inspirations' If this wasn't you, I apologise, if it was, enough said!

Sue said...

Ah well, I suppose you've achieved a few hits on your blog by writing this crap, well done. You come across as being dull, boring, very self-opionated and, quite honestly, rather stupid. Remember, it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Andy G. said...

There's a difference between the worst band in the world and the band that you hate the most. From what your wrote, it would seem like The Killers are your least favorite band, rather than the band that is in fact the "worst band in the world".

I won't criticize you for your opinion, though I am a fan of The Killers. I would ask you, if you were willing, to not listen to a Killers track for a few weeks or months, however long it takes. Don't think about them. Ignore any mention of them in the media. Then, once you've at least forgotten some of the hype and what not, listen to these songs in this order.

Start off with the famous murder trilogy. "Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf", "Midnight Show" and "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine".

Follow that up with these classics...

"Sam's Town"
"Read My Mind"
"My List"
"This River Is Wild"
"Sweet Talk"
"Losing Touch"
"Joy Ride"
"This Is Your Life"
"Neon Tiger"
"Goodnight, Travel Well"

If you're willing to try this, I'd really like to know what the result is. You might still hate them, or you might grow to really appreciate what they bring to the table. I won't suggest what it is you should take from those particular songs.

I'm not a big blog person. I'm not sure if you'll even read this. I guess I could check on this page in a few days to see if you've commented on whether you're willing to try it or if you've ignored my suggestion all together. I guess that's what I'll do.

Trond Gunnar said...

I soooo agree with you on the fact that The Killers is soulless shit!! The only band i can think of being any worse is Kings of Leon. Keep up the good work!

Stephane888 said...

Sorry you bunch of winy brainless balless metrosexuals, but the guy is totally right.

I think the reason why they made MY top-1 of the bands that I hate the most, is the calculated, contrived, soulless cynicism with which they market themselves, how they lined up photo-shoot after photo-shoot, their bottomless self-indulgence.

What kind of sincere music can you expect out of that monstruous hodgepodge?

It's funny I write a music blog too, and "The Killers" is my byword for the worst crap possible.

Check out the interview they gave to the CBC on youtube, you'll see how many people rave about that guy's eyes, and this guy's "perfect nose" and yadi yada. I don't deny them "some" talent, but goddamn, what they're doing to the music scene is toe-curling.

In the meantime, brilliant, genuine, underrated bands like, I don't know... Brian Jonestown Massacre, Bauhaus, DFA 1979, Fela Kuti, Lisa Gerrard and Dead Can Dance, Os Mutantes, Can, etc. etc. etc. all go relatively unnoticed because retarded bands like that hog all the press coverage posing in their leppard/cosmonauts suits in the middle of an old factory/desert/etc.

I'm with you man.

Stephane888 said...

Oh yeah, and Katy, cut the prissy self-righteous bullshit will you? The guy doesn't need to pitied, but hey... if it really makes you feel better...

Eswicker said...

1. Get a better taste in music
2. Stop using big words when you can barely form a correct sentence... please
3. You're a hipster
4. Kill yourself

Anonymous said...

Dude, ignore these pussies. When you grow up listening to total shit, you get to be an expert on total shit. The killers are not only a misnomer, they are not only the worst "band" in the world, they might very well be the worst "band" in the Universe. Given the choice of these posers and oasis, the second worst band like fucking ever, I would swim across the ocean to see oasis.
Keep up the good work, ignore the drivel minded nobodies, and would somebody PLEASE make a proper rock record...er...soon, thanks.

Anonymous said...

And at the end of all that there wasn't one justification for the bullshit you spoke. It seems that your just a wee angry man who doesn't have a clue. And please stop lifting words out the dictionary for the sake of looking smart, it does take more than that to sound sophisticated. You my friend just sound like a total wanker. And the guy above fuck you, oasis are pants, Liam Gallagher is an untalented piece of shit.

Anonymous said...

You must be really dumb to put U2, Killers and Coldplay as the worst bands in the world!!

Yes - Coldplay is not as good as they were before. But they are far from the worst band.

U2?!?!?! Seriously. It is infact the best band in the world. Have you listened to Joshua Tree? Achtung Baby?

And Killers - Again, some of these bands are not in their best form. Doesnt mean they are the worst bands?

Like U2's comeback after disasters like Rattle and Hum and POP.


You need to get your facts right!!!

Louis said...

I really don't understand the point of this article. The killers are my favourite bad and I think they are amazing. There music can be so diverse and inspirational. You may not like them and that's fine, but there's not need to spout off insults just because they're not your cup of tea. I have been to see them once and it was one of the best nights of my life. If you want proof look at this video and see how sensational they really are...
http://youtu.be/IdWZgTvf4t0

bryan alley said...

sweet jesus you bunch of freaks Mr. Flowers' black and silky silhouette??? I can't stand these bunch of poser twerps but I feel sorry for "MR Flowers" with creeps like Tara stalking him. Give me some Silver Jews, BJTM, National or anything but the music killers.

Tara said...

Mr. Alley,

Creeps like me spend a good deal of time mentoring children, preparing and serving food at my church, doing social and civic duties and generally respecting the boundaries of musicians and public figures alike. And my love of music and colorful language has left you so compelled to comment and judge based on ten lines of text? I said above you're entitled to your opinion - and you are - but "Mr. Flowers" has as much reason to be concerned about me stalking him as I am concerned about your diatribe.

Tara said...

Mr. Alley,

Creeps like me spend a good deal of time mentoring children, preparing and serving food at my church, doing social and civic duties and generally respecting the boundaries of musicians and public figures alike. And my love of music and colorful language has left you so compelled to comment and judge based on ten lines of text? I said above you're entitled to your opinion - and you are - but "Mr. Flowers" has as much reason to be concerned about me stalking him as I am concerned about your diatribe.

Anonymous said...

Kill yourself is all I have to say.