Hot Fuss features eleven nuggets of reel-you-in storytelling genius and musical nectar. These eleven tracks span from the "very Vegas – like Ziggy came to town" first proper single release "Somebody Told Me";"Mr Brightside" - a tale of jealousy that depicts that moment in a relationship when you realize that your other half might be playing away and this thought takes up residence in your psyche feeding the worst fears and visualisations your imagination can then throw at you. You’ll find two-thirds of a murder trilogy in "Midnight Show", which starts off harking back to "Lipgloss" before veering into far darker territory than old Jarvis would ever have flirted with, in Pulp days at least, and "Jenny". These two are connected by the story of a murder of a girl by her jealous boyfriend. The first part of the trilogy, "Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf", will, you can be sure, make an appearance at some point in the future. It’s a deliciously ambitious series that! belies the band’s tender years. Elsewhere, meanwhile: "On Top" celebrates where Brandon feels the band is at, while stalker’s tale "Andy You’re A Star" and "All These Things That I’ve Done," saw Flowers realise his dream of using a gospel choir in their recordings.
The Killers match postpunk guitars with a synthesizer overlay that recalls '80s New Wave without burying their sound in nostalgia. On their debut, Hot Fuss, frontman Brandon Flowers plumbs his imagination for tales of murdered lovers ("Jenny Was a Friend of Mine," "Midnight Show"), voyeurism ("Mr. Brightside"), and sexual confusion (the single "Somebody Told Me"), Flowers and his mates are obviously canny students; the total effect is of a playacted obsession, but one made irresistible by their skillful, catchy songs. If there's an occasional misstep (the painfully earnest line "I got soul but I'm not a soldier" from "All These Things That I've Done"), it seems of a piece with the Killers' influences. As it is, Hot Fuss is one of several recent releases that bring a diverting faux glamour to the mainstream rock scene. --Rickey Wright
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