ALT-ROCK

The Killers Hot Fuss

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With buzz bands like Franz Ferdinand and Interpol, neo new-wave is this year's equivalent of the garage-rock revival that ushered in the Strokes, the White Stripes, the Vines, et al. And with their dead-on debut, the Killers are definitely another group that is worth the fuss. The Las Vegas quartet (which derived its name from New Order's "Crystal" video) makes potent post-punk that is equal parts brooding glam and melodic synth-pop. First single "Somebody Told Me" is an alt-rock anthem that will take you back to MTVs 120 Minutes with one of the year's catchiest choruses: "Somebody told me you had a boyfriend who looked like a girlfriend that I had in February of last year." Meanwhile the richly melancholic "Smile Like You Mean It" is a sardonic moper worthy of the Smiths. "Save some face, you know you've only got one," sings lead singer Brandon Flowers, who at times recalls Morrissey with his mournful delivery and upper-register wail. Despite their doldrums, the Killers are most often danceable, with rhythmic tracks like "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine," "On Top" and "Change Your Mind" that will have you breaking out your old Casio keyboard.—C.A.

•DOWNLOAD THIS: "Somebody Told Me"

  • Contributors:
  • Chuck Arnold,
  • Ralph Novak.