The Killers: Hot Fuss is a Murderous Album


William Polk, Staff Writer

The music starts with what can only be described as a helicopter pushed through a synthesizer before blasting into the song that is “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine.” The Bass Guitar blasting through the mix and laying the groundwork for the song. The album continues on, killing expectations about how good songs about murder can actually be. 

The album “Hot Fuss” by the Killers is chockfull of songs of murder, wanting, and change of one’s past. This album features the single “Mr. Brightside” which gained much popularity and centers on Brandon’s obsession with a girl who is in a relationship with another man, as well as featuring other songs that garner the themes stated previously.

We’ll start out with going over this album’s tendency to use amazing Bass Guitar licks and rhythms. Notably, as previously stated, the first track, “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” features tremendous bass that’s not only more complex than many songs in the genre, it is fun as all get out to play. “Smile Like You Mean It,” while not having a complex bass line, has one that is well used and turned up in the mix, which really adds to the song in and of itself. The drums are also not your simple drum beats, which adds to the quality of the album. They are necessarily insane and crazy but do the trick in adding a new feel to the songs that wouldn’t be there without it. 

Then let’s get to the guitars. Lead guitar, while not complex, is used well, to only add to the song, rather than just to be flashy and go nuts. Such as the additions in “All These Things That I’ve Done” adding flares that keep the song from getting boring. The rhythm guitar is used quite well, laying down a good set of chords that also aren’t difficult but aren’t used in a boring or undeserved way adding unusual stroke patterns to add depth to the parts. The synths also tend to add more rhythmic or lead sections to the song, which are appreciated but could use a little bit of production work, as they sound like they were produced through can, but musically, these work very well.

The lyrics are also quite unique, which makes them fun to sing along to, and really reinforce the idea of murder in many of the songs, such as the lyrics “She couldn’t scream while I held her close I swore I’d never let her go” Which, in the context of the song is him killing her, possibly suffocation, and him being interrogated, telling half-truths as an attempt to get away with the act. Other songs have iconic songs such as “Mr. Brightside,” which is full of lyrics that many know from the top of their heads. 

I highly suggest the album “Hot Fuss” to all music lovers giving it a 12/12 smiles, a reference to their song “Smile Like You Mean It.” The album garnered many hits and its song “All These Things That I’ve Done” even was used in a dance number in the middle of the movie “Southland Tales.”