They’re back! Well, maybe that exclamation point was a little unnecessary. The Killer’s Battle Born won’t catapault the Las Vegas quartet back to the glory years of Hot Fuss, but these eccentric rockers proved they aren’t quite ready just yet to slip into obscurity. Lead singer, Brandon Flowers brings a pugnacious attitude to Battle Born with flares of Day and Age and Sam’s Town. The Hot Fuss days may be gone, but not The Killers . . . not yet.
The opening one-two punch is standard Killers. “Flesh and Bone” draws the listener in with a familiar synthesizer before kicking into Battle Born’s star “Runaways.” They’ve opened all their albums the same way: “Jenny was a Friend of Mine” into “Mr. Brightside” on Hot Fuss, “Sam’s Town” into “When We Were Young” on Sam’s Town, and “Losing Touch” into “Human” on Day & Age.
Check out the video for the single “Runaways” here:
After firing up their listeners with this classic Killers’ opening, they start to lose steam. Their next four songs seem to run together, but lyrically portray what sounds like the turbulent down-side of life on the road. “Maybe a thief stole your heart/ Maybe we just drifted apart” off “The Way It Was.” “Don’t want your picture on my cell phone/I want you here with me” from “Here With Me.” “Can’t you see that it’s tearing me up inside?” in “A Matter of Time.” “Catch you, darling/ I’ll be waiting/ I am on your side” from “Deadlines and Commitments.” The Killers explode back with “Miss Atomic Bomb” before returning to form with “Rising Tide.” “Rising Tide” is on par with their other song 8s, “Neon Tiger,” “Bones” and “Change Your Mind.”
Overall this is the weakest of the four The Killers’ albums, excluding Sawdust. Battle Born has some solid tracks that could become Killer classics – “Rising Tide” seems like the logical second single choice, followed by “Miss Atomic Bomb” – but the album lacks any of that driving energy that fans of the band have become nostalgic for.
Review written by Scott Sheahen