Not many rock bands have the ability to hone closer towards achieving a desired “sound” as they grow in age. The Killers are an exception. Their latest release, Wonderful Wonderful, takes the Springsteen-esque, heartland synth rock direction the band capitalized on in Battle Born, and develops it into a perfected, stadium rock-powered record from front to back.
Opening with hypnotic 80’s-esque dazzler, “Wonderful Wonderful,” the Las Vegas natives hit all the checkmarks we’ve come to expect from them, and then some. The title track explores uncharted territories for the group, straying towards the experimental all the while remaining nostalgically accessible. Guided by punchy, hypnotic bass lines, crackled drum arrangements, and reverberated vocal/synth leads, “Wonderful Wonderful” might be one of the group’s best attempts at contrasting psychedelic 80s synth pop and 2000s indie rock thus far.
Politically-charged track, “The Calling”, offers yet another unique glimpse into The Killers’ vastly enveloping soundscape. Combining elements of Southern rock and uptempo synth pop, “The Calling” takes listeners on a journey through slinky guitar riffs and Thriller-esque drum and bass grooves. Reminiscent of the Sam’s Town days, “The Calling” is both a throwback and a step in a new direction for lead singer, Brandon Flowers. The track opens with a monologue recording of Matthew 9:11, then engages in a moral debate over following hierarchical orders versus listening to one’s moral beliefs, a rare political leaning for the group’s lyricist.
Lead single, “The Man”, paves the way for every fans’ classic Killers’ memories. Filled with poppy synth riffs, disco drum beats, catchy vocal melodies, and tastefully placed guitar lines, “The Man” is the obvious stand-out on the record. Brandon Flowers holds nothing back: “I’m the man, come round/ No-no-nothing can break, no-nothing can break me down.” It’s the perfectly confident lead-in to a record full of modern rock anthems in every sense of the word.
And that’s what makes this group so special: its uncanny ability to continue creating modern rock anthems both relevant and sentimentally wistful amidst an ever-changing pop musical landscape. Wonderful Wonderful may not boast a mega-hit, like “Mr. Brightside” or “When You Were Young”, but it continues to solidify The Killers as one of the best post-2000’s rock bands still continually active. Hats off fellas.
“Run For Cover”
“Tyson vs Douglas”
“Some Kind Of Love”