The Greatest Gamble.
When it comes to this modern, mainstream music game of kings and jokers, there is one band that still holds all the cards for Rock N Roll. One band that still drives to the heartland of real America and away from the neon glare of the casinos and down to the real Las Vegas, in the Nuclear bomb testing, serene night deserts of old Nevada. One band smoking all the aces with roll after roll of new classic singing and songwriting that would make the boss of rock Bruce proud. One band to inspire the incredible new Vegas boys 'Imagine Dragons', breathing even more fire into the dream world of hopeful escapism and forever lasting themes of love and life. You can hear it sung along by the girls in the passenger seat of their boyfriends classic muscle car on the way to the best wedding chapel. You can hear it tuned into the dials on that old stereo. You can hear it on the airwaves of each radio station that still has it's salt in the right pot and music box. You can hear it in the four horsemen who continue to drive the engine of real songs about real emotion and true love. One band that's still alive in a dying industry...'The Killers'.
Listen, carefully if you haven't turned off your radio by now. There's still some great music when it comes to the right frequency. You've heard the song, you've seen the video. The one with those two Hollywood kids on the moped driving around the perfect directorial look of a night in sin city. Where our two, star-crossed lovers are trying to lay their own Romeo and Juliet scene. A song and clip that will capture Capulets and Montagues alike. 'Shot At The Night', may just be one of The Killers greatest fires at a best hit. With lead-singer and modern day icon Brandon Flowers singing from the window of a hotel room in Springsteen leathers and stance, the kid from Flamingo has the whole electric city reflected beneath him, like his incredible solo set (of the same name as his hometown) that deserves it's recognition here. Still, this song is more than just our leading man, it's for his band and this 'Direct Hits' offering of The Killers is more than just a package deal. Just like this lead song and the other new neon song 'Just Another Girl' -just as atmospheric-these are more than just tracks tacked on to a label demanding release. Sure, these guys may have just come off their best artillery of songs in the rebirth of 'Battle Born' and it's redemptive tour, but these guys with more hits than even they could count are still going strong and ready to rock any boulevard or arena. With it's target cover, that ups the stepped up stakes of all their classic logo album artwork, this band are back and hitting the blue and white with a bulls-eye and their bullet to the evening. In this game of chance, this is their casino royale.
'Shot At The Night' which has an 80's 'Drive' soundtrack feel, puts the keys in the ignition and sets it all off, before we get into the real grand studio tour of an album that Flowers says is "like a great way to clean everything up and move onto the next thing". In full bloom, the cream of the crop of classics is really hit out the park swing, by swing, deal by deal. Just like the bands new stadium ready live tour, you just have to let the good times and great records flow in all it's recent memories nostalgia and soundtrack of youth. From the shine of 'Mr. Brightside' and the word of mouth, mega-hit 'Somebody Told Me' and the happy-go-lucky days of 'Smile Like You Mean It' to 'All The Things That I've Done' that wraps up the bands bold and beautiful beginnings in a 'Hot Fuss' straight flush. A triple threat from 'Sams Town' explores the sophomore road traveled and traversed for the love of your life hit 'When You Where Young' to downtown, Tokyo, Japan for the storied 'Read My Mind'. 'For Reasons Unknown' bookends the first half of the bands career before the new 'Day & Age' of purple, 80's Bowie inspirations come into play for the second half of this audio set. 'Human' remains one of the band biggest, out of this world hits, and 'Spaceman' is also major like Ground control to Tom for all you extra-terrestrials. 'A Dustland Fairytale' also keeps this bands weapons on, before arguably the bands greatest and most underrated era comes into play. Following the solo, formidable foray of Flowers 'Flamingo', the latest and greatest 'Battle Born' of last year re-woke a wrote off band and flipped the script to a more mature, but still 'young love hopeful' one.
From the epic 'Runaways' that was born somewhere on E Street, to the explosive 'Miss Atomic Bomb' that gives more redemptive riffs to the memories of clouds of nuclear smoke in the desert distance. You may as well get your Geiger counters back out and line-up to be read for the ash that will still fall decades later for a band that will survive through any fallout. The real find of a former love lost in 'The Way It Was' really shows today just how strong the band of past capturing and future emoting is in the present. The epic, yearning "darling" harmonies show this singer and his band are still about the love and flowers that make real songs that will last more than just diluted dedications for the mainstream. With some original demos, Calvin Harris remixes and another 'Battle Born' number (the hauntingly beautiful and tranquil 'Be Still') for your bonus this band who have been blessed with it all are bestowing it upon everyone. Sure huge hits 'Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine' and 'Here With Me' shouldn't have made the cutting room floor but we cant always have it all. Just like Flowers sings in the single "look at my reflection in the mirror/underneath the power of the light/give me a shot at the night", and in this reflective electronic playlist ready, classic collection we can see a band that will shine on for the brighter side of decades of days and ages. Battle born and redemption ready for the next roll of the Vegas dice that will continue down the American highway. TIM DAVID HARVEY.