June 17th 2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the UK release of Hot Fuss, the debut album from Las Vegas band, The Killers. Arguably one of the most memorable, not to mention anthemic, albums of the noughties , it was the stepping stone that saw The Killers through to becoming the internationally acclaimed band that they are today. Several songs from Hot Fuss are festival staples, always demanded to continuous encore whenever and wherever you are lucky enough to see the band perform.
The second single released from the album,Mr. Brightside, is testament to the longevity of the albums popularity. In summer festivals every year since, as soon as that opening line bursts forth from frontman Flowers, “I’m coming outta my cage and I’ve been doing just fine”, the crowd, young and old alike, jump in unison.
That’s the real USP of The Killers, the ability their music has to appeal to all, regardless of age or differing music tastes. Yes, albums such as Hot Fuss may be described as erring on the side of mainstream, for the fact that their music does appeal to the large majority. However, the crucial difference between the Killers and other bands on their international level, such as Coldplay or U2, is that they are still, well… cool! Eyes aren’t rolled (at least, not yet!), whenever a fan mentions their love for Hot Fuss or the Killers’ more recent work to someone who perhaps doesn’t care as much for the band.
Hot Fuss channels influences such as New Order, The Cure and Smashing Pumpkins. However, it is to this day one of the most successful examples of how to use synthesisers within post punk music effectively, without wading into eighties tribute band territory. The bands Las Vegas roots, and all the glamour of the strip shines through on tracks such Glamorous Indie Rock and Roll. However, it was perhaps Hot Fuss debuting in the UK before the US, and this obvious influence of British bands upon the album that ensured the public still holds them firmly against their collective bosom. That, and the undeniably hypnotic crooning of leather jacket clad beaut Brandon Flowers.
If there is one outstanding factor from this album that still packs a punch, and has throughout the last ten years of the noughties, then it has to be the storytelling that has become the niche of the bands music. Although The Killers have never completely confirmed, it is strongly rumoured on several music forums that three of the songs on the album; Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf, Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine and Midnight show are the tale of a rejected lover, driven to murder by his jealousy. Although sometimes rough around the edges, perhaps a little “filler” in places, (Andy You’re A Star isn’t a shining moment in comparison to a track such as heart wrencher Smile Like You Mean It), Hot Fuss stands the test of time simply because it is a feel good collection of songs that you can both dance to and wallow in in equal measure. Songs that you can sing along with your friends/kids/parents/drunken bloke at the festival stood next to you. And who can help but love singing along to the lyrics “somebody told me that you had a boyfriend who looked like a girlfriend”? Here’s to the next ten years!