The Killers – Sawdust

The Killers – Sawdust / 2007 Island / 17 Tracks / / /

Before I start this review, I have to saw that “Tranquilize” is one of the best songs of the year 2007. The fact that it has Lou Reed on it only increases the amount I enjoy the song, and the accompanying video does not paint The Killers as any sort of slouches either. “Tranquilize” is on “Sawdust”, which is a sort of B-sides and rarities album for fans of the band. Of course, for the casual listener, The Killers have added tracks that everyone is familiar with, albeit tweaked in some way. That means that there is a Jacques Lu Cont mix of “Mr. Brightside” that turns the track into something eminently dance worthy, while “Sam’s Town” is a little bit more raw and angry than it was originally presented. For fans of the somewhat retro sound of dance-rock that The Killers create, the cover of Joy Division’s ”Shadowplay” will link past to present, influencer to influence, and show how talented The Killers really are.

The band’s ability to make “Shadowplay” into their own song rather than a pale imitation of a goth/new wave classic (I’m looking at you, 311) solidifies the band in the pantheon of more established acts.  “Sawdust” provides more than covers and a few new tracks; those songs that were present on a soundtrack or other limited-run release are present here. The most exemplary of this type of track comes in the band’s “Move Away”, which was first present on the soundtrack to Spiderman 3. Finally, this disc collects the b-sides to the sings that the band has cut over the first five years of their existence. A stand-out track in this style of tune is “All The Pretty Faces”, which originally was presented as the B-side to “When You Were Young”.

The catchiness of “All The Pretty Faces” gives “When You Were Young” a run for its money: the song could have been released as a single and sold just as many copies as “When You Were Young”. While bands typically take a few more years to release a B-sides or rarities compilation, “Sawdust” provides the opportunity to piece together the entire Killers collection, and since the band is still relatively new, the compilation avoids missing tracks that are integral to understanding where the band came from and where the band has yet to go.

Top Tracks: Show You How, Under The Gun

Rating: 7.2/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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