Prepare for battle! The Killers return at their most overblown and absurd. Get ready for a rumble in the desert, because baby, they were born to run.
With a sense of scale that towers somewhere close to the almighty heights of U2’s ‘Achtung Baby’, ‘Battle Born’ sees The Killers shamelessly turning away from their earlier indie dabblings and instead punching their fists skywards in a bid to blow the roof off of stadium rock with pure power-pop grit.
The Anglophile mascara and glitter parade that the world first fell in love with on Hot Fuss are almost unrecognisable today. Those glamorous indie rock n’ roll boys have now come of age.
While each previous album has proven a departure and an evolution, ‘Battle Born’ essentially feels like an amalgamation of all that’s great about The Killers – but turned up to 11.
It’s got that romantic Americana from ‘Sam’s Town’, charged by the sheer pomp of ‘Day and Age’ and littered with those infectious ‘Hot Fuss’ hooks. With futuristic synth janglings, monolithic guitar-work and arena-ready anthemics, opener ‘Flesh and Bone’ is the sound of Bono and Bruce Springsteen in a full-speed race through Tron.
The Vegas drama continues through the highway lovestory of lead single ‘Runaways’ and the vivid, soul-searing lament of ‘Miss Atomic Bomb’. It’s like a Top Gear soundtrack.
The Killers are never going to re-make ‘Kid A’, but what Battle Born does is drag classic AM rock speeding into the 21st Century - quite literally so on ‘Here With Me’ as Flowers pines: “I don’t want your picture on my cell phone – I want you here with me.”
It’s ridiculous, romantic and righteous, and quite the show of daftness in the desert, but we wouldn’t have The Killers any other way – may they wear these battle scars with pride.