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The Killers: Sawdust

The Killers: Sawdust

Release Date:2007
Genre:Indie Rock

By Allison Levin | Posted 12/19/2007

There's a brash warning hanging off the gate to Sawdust, mostly a collection of Killers rarities and B-sides. It's an original song featuring Lou Reed, "Tranquilize," which sounds like a fantastic idea until you actually listen to the hopelessly out-of-tune, hopelessly out-of-harmony, hopelessly nonsensical attempt at grandiosity . . . or buzz. The only thing more ill-advised is the cringingly self-serious video, or the what-in-the-fuck-is-that? cover art.

Embarrassing beginning aside, the disc has its moments. "All the Pretty Faces" is a suitably mellow groove and "Show You How" is a good song, though the answering-machine beginning could have been tossed. The synthed-up track is catchy, and far more reminiscent of Hot Fuss Killers, which is understandable given that it was the B-side to the U.K. release of "Somebody Told Me."

Further on, "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town," a First Edition cover, is a pleasantly unexpected dose of country. It, with the Abbey Road Version of "Sam's Town," are perfect wind-downs. In fact, "Sam's Town" would be the perfect album closer. Unfortunately, it's not. "Romeo and Juliet," the track that follows, is forgettable, and Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke remix of "Mr. Brightside" is downright unnecessary. Ten-minute, 40-second remixes of anything are never necessary.

The Killers are a band that, when they manage to capture a mood, put out decent and quite listenable generic rock. Hot Fuss remains a perennial guilty pleasure even among the snob set. It's there in small doses on Sawdust, but when it fails, it fails hard. And nothing quite reminds you of failure-and desperation-like a 10-minute remix. ★

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