Album Review: The Killers – Imploding The Mirage (Island)

When is a band not a band? When you’re The Killers and your guitarist seems to have gone AWOL and your bass player is a part-timer.

Fans who caught The Killers when they last played in Auckland in 2018 (click here for review) will know that nowadays The Killers are front man Brandon Flowers, drummer Ronnie Vannucci and a slew of sidemen.

That’s pretty much the case on Imploding The Mirage, the “band’s” 6th studio album. Flowers and Vannucci are fully present, while original bassist Mark Stoermer is partially present and guitarist Dave Keuning is nowhere to be heard.

Instead, the remaining band-members are assisted by a slew of hired help including War On Drugs’ Adam Granduciel, Weyes Blood, Blake Mills, Lindsey Buckingham and even, kd lang.

Production chores are handled by The Killers and Foxygen’s Shawn Everett and Jonathan Rado.

Surprisingly, with all the changes this still sounds like The Killers, which proves the power of Brandon Flowers’ presence and further blurs the line between his solo albums and Killers albums.

Not surprisingly, there is less guitar and more synths than on previous Killers records which doesn’t make me happy…although Lindsey Buckingham does chime in with a tasty solo during Caution.

The sound is still arena-sized with plenty of influence from Mr Springsteen on rousing rockers such as opener My Own Soul’s Warning and Running Towards A Place.

Kd lang sings a verse during Lightning Fields and Weyes Blood adds bvs on My God, but, really, this is Brandon Flowers’ show and the others are just supporting players.

Taken individually, the 10 songs that make up Imploding The Mirage are just fine, but heard in one sitting they tend to all sound the same, with the trademark Killers bombast getting a bit tiresome.

Perhaps it’s time to retire The Killers until everyone is ready to participate again and put the focus on Brandon’s solo career. Meanwhile, this should hold you!.

Marty Duda