Nevada's Killers aspire to be your '80s everything, baby—your U2, your Cars, and your New Order rolled into one shiny, fist-pumping, post-millennial package. They want your complete worship, your undivided adoration, your perpetual patronage. The band has the synthesizer chutzpah and guitar-hook chops to pull it off, but Brandon Flowers—despite his sugar-rush quiver of a voice and "Mr. Brightside" notwithstanding—lacks a lyrical, er, killer instinct. There's no shame in bringing in a little hired help to transform your gaggle of fashion-on-the-edge misfits into a sleek, lethal, unit-shifting machine; it happens all the time. The Matrix helped Liz Phair go pop, Dyke Van Parks put poetic platitudes in Brian Wilson's mouth and Smile was the result, producer Matt Serletic had a bit more than a hand in Matchbox Twenty's last couple of hits. Day & Age is quite a bit of arena-primed fun, but come on, Brandon. "Are we human/Or are we dancers"? Are you for real, dude? If you really expect us to be waiting with bated breath for the presidential term between your All That You Can't Leave Behind and your How to Dismantle an Atom Bomb, you've gotta do better than that. With M83. All ages.
Mon., Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m., 2009
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