Though our calendars firmly state the year to be 2018, at the moment, the alternative music industry seems to be turning the clock back to the early 2000s, to the middle of the post-punk revival. The delightful yet intense combination of rowdy 1960s garage rock and glossy 1980s new wave/post punk that brought groups such as Arctic Monkeys, The White Stripes, and The Strokes fame and recognition, seems to be back and better than ever.
As we have recently seen Arctic Monkeys finally announce their comeback, Jack White of the White Stripes release a solo album to much critical acclaim, and Julian Casablancas of The Strokes continue to work hard with his new group The Voidz, it would almost be offensive to forget about the band whose 2004 debut record inspired and defined an entire scene and genre: The Killers.
It goes without saying that Hot Fuss isn’t necessarily the greatest album ever released. Both critically and throughout the music community there’s a divide in people who see it as a masterpiece and people who see it as mediocre, with a couple good singles. However, its catchy hooks, memorable guitar riffs, and shimmering synth overlays have worked their way into the hearts of a mass amount of listeners.
Despite the popularity of the album’s many breakout singles such as “Smile Like You Mean It” and “Somebody Told Me,” Hot Fuss has a solid amount of deeper cuts worth listening to as well. An underrated, standout example of this is found in the album’s latter half, entitled “Change Your Mind.” This track is the perfect blend of driving guitars, bouncing basslines, a chipper synth line, and an intense performance by frontman Brandon Flowers.
It’s emotional songs like this where The Killers’s talents really shine, and though they possess a knack for writing fun, catchy, pop-rock tunes, there’s a lot to be seen within the record’s songs without millions of streams. The album’s closer, “Everything Will Be Alright,” is another example of this. Considerably slower than the other songs on Hot Fuss, the track shows a different side of The Killers, and displays their versatility as songwriters.
There’s no denying the enormous impact that Hot Fuss had on an entire generation of people. In fact, its legacy lives on to this day! Put on “Mr. Brightside” in any room of people and you’ll still instantly see faces light up, heads bob, and mouths word every lyric word for word. Consisting of breakout, mainstream hits, and of less talked about pop-rock bangers, Hot Fuss is truly a killer album. No pun intended.
By: Yasmin Ettobi