The Killers put out a new album last Friday called Wonderful Wonderful. It’s not very good. In my review, I also tried to make sense of the band’s career. Here’s where I came down:
Our lovably callow heroes are in a precarious position in 2017 — as if the extended delay between albums wasn’t alarming enough, half of the band will be staying home during The Killers’ upcoming tour in support of Wonderful Wonderful, because “they want to spend more time with their families,” the most dreaded PR excuse in all of flackdom. Meanwhile, The Killers’ status as a multi-platinum, arena-filling legacy act has been diminished by changing cultural winds and their own inertia. With the rise and stubborn resilience of Imagine Dragons, The Killers aren’t even the biggest rock band from Las Vegas any longer. They’ve been reduced to The Bravery in their own backyard.
The press tour for Wonderful Wonderful has been an opportunity for Flowers to reflect on the band’s dubious legacy, another possible sign that The Killers are winding down. “The older you get, the more you’re conscious of time and how limited it is,” he told Billboard. “And the megalomaniac in you says, ‘Well, what kind of mark have I left?’”
At the risk of stating the obvious, here’s The Killers’ legacy: “Mr. Brightside.” One monumental single that never seems to go away. Most bands would kill for one song like that. But you suspect that The Killers want more.
Is that a fair assessment, or was I off the mark? I decided to call up friend of the pod and long-time Killers fan Larry Fitzmaurice, an editor at Vice, to help me go over the band’s career. Did the Killers truly peak early with “Mr. Brightside,” or is there more to this band’s legacy? We also attempted to answer the eternal question: Are the Killers good, terrible, or good because they’re terrible?