As we sit in our pyjamas, nursing heads full of cotton wool on this Saturday-like-so-many-others, it becomes clear that the Radar must get something off it’s chest. It’s not about music in China, but it is something that has been bugging us for much of the 4 years since the sophomore release of the Killers first album, Hot Fuss. How is it that a band can be so big when their lead singer cannot sing?
Brandon Flowers was everything that a front man should be when they burst onto the scene in 2004 – good looking, stylish, intelligent and he had that desire, that all-consuming burn to be the biggest, the best. On the retro-80’s glam and jive of that first album (which was our album of the year that year, by the way) his voice seemed to work, even to help the music.
But in the interim, it has become apparent that the reed thin, tremulous larynx of Mr. Flowers is not cut out for anything bigger that your front room. It’s not even that he sings a little bit off some of the time. It is that he sings for the majority so incredibly flat and misses some notes by such a huge margin that it is actually painful to listen to him. And so it is, on the eve of the release of their third studio album, that the radio subjects me to another hour and a half of Killers car-crash, and like the aforementioned pileup, I just cannot drag my ears away from it. I still hope after seeing them in a small room and then headlining a festival, as well as enduring at least 3 full length live recordings, that something is wrong, and that he is suddenly going to say “Hey, I’m only joking. I can actually sing these great songs really well”, but it still hasn’t happened, and it is becoming apparent that it never will.
Yet still we are considering them for an appearance here in China, some time in 2009 and in the same vein, they still seem to get the most incredible amount of support and media love. Is it because everyone feels a bit sorry for them, or is it because everyone still loves them for Mr. Brightside and Somebody Told Me? As the clock rolls towards midday here in China and even the guitarist seems to be hitting duff notes in this “Live from the Albert Hall in London”, we just wish someone would put them (and us) out of their misery.