Left Off the List: The Killers

Killers cover

Left Off the 2012 List: The Killers, Battle Born

By Maggie Nichols
Thursday Review Contributing Writer

Our chief editor, also known as chief writer and all-around-coordinator person, writes thoughtful, thorough pieces that range in subject—from 2012’s detailed accounts of the presidential election, to some of his recent material, like his lengthy reviews of great movies worth seeing again—Network, for example.

Still, once in a while he leaves something out, especially from his famous “lists.” Such is the case with his look back at 2012’s most memorable new music. He’s got some great names on that list—Green Day and The Shins, to name two.

But absent from his list was The Killers. Their 2012 release of Battle Born must surely be included somewhere among the top five or six. The Killers, an American indie band formed in Las Vegas (which remains their home base), has released three albums of new music along with a live album recorded in England. These guys reek of indie. Legend has it that most of the songs on their first album were written, rehearsed and perfected after-hours in the marching band practice room at UNLV. But their music had a genuine, innovative new sound. They had little trouble making record sales, and a few years after their formation they were already winning a flurry of awards by music critics and fan magazines as being one of the best new bands.

Battle Born is their best effort yet, with songs like “Miss Atomic Bomb” and “Runaways” reminding listeners that these guys have real talent. Giving even more shimmer to this record is the top-notch production assistance from Steve Lillywhite, Daniel Lanois and Damian Taylor, all of whom impart their thumb-print onto this effort (Lanois shares songwriting credit in a couple of places). Add Battle Born to your short list of CDs you should rate as the best of 2012.