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The Killers Battle Born

(Vinyl 2LP)

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Item: LDK8762
The Killers Battle Born on 2LP

From out of the wreckage of the American Civil War, the great state of Nevada came into being on October 31st, 1864. Its creation immediately helped to secure the re-election of Abraham Lincoln, the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment and, ultimately, the future of the union. Today, that proud but painful history is enshrined in the two words emblazoned on the upper left-hand corner of the state flag: Battle Born.

That phrase has always resonated with Brandon Flowers. It’s what The Killers named their studio in Las Vegas, and when the band reconvened last May to start work on the follow-up to 2008’s Day & Age, it became first a song title, then a thematic touchstone, and eventually the name of the album itself. But not all battles are blood and thunder: after a yearlong hiatus that saw three of the four Killers launch solo careers, they quickly discovered that timing and circumstance can be daunting adversaries in their own right.

Safe to say, Battle Born’s title was well-earned. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, no question,” says Brandon. “It’s the longest we’ve ever taken to make a record, and the longest I’ve ever spent on the lyrics. We thought we had enough songs, but then we realized that we didn’t, and so we had to pound away and grind it out until we were certain that we were ready.”

A small-town drama of epic-scale proportions, "Runaways" is everything you could wish for from a Killers comeback single; an unmistakably American expression of romance and optimism that heralds their return with cyclonic, Who-esque guitars and a chorus big enough to be bellowed from one end of the Mojave to the other.

One of the album’s oldest songs, the bare bones were written in 2009 on the Day & Age tour, but, says Brandon, “We never knew what to do with it. Day & Age was us trying to be more of a pop group, but Runaways was rootsy and American, and it threw me for a curve. I knew it was a powerful song. But when it came time to make the album, there was an understanding the four of us had that we were gonna do what we’re good at. The Killers write a specific kind of song, and we’re not gonna shy away from it. So ‘Runaways’ became a kind of launching pad.”

More songs followed: the title track, a musical ‘brother’ to its lead single; "Here With Me," the album’s heartstring-tugging emotional gravity-centre; the stadia-quaking electro-rock of "Flesh & Bone." By the time the band had satisfactorily refined that body of songs, however, none of the producers on their shortlist could commit to making a whole album, necessitating a process whereby they recorded in fits and starts with a stellar roll-call of names that included Daniel Lanois, Steve Lillywhite, Damian Taylor, Stuart Price and Brendan O’Brien.

And therein lies Battle Born’s real triumph. Recorded almost entirely at the studio that shares its name, it incorporates elements from each of the records that came before it; Hot Fuss’ storytelling eye for detail; the yearning, mythic Americana of Sam’s Town; the gratuitous hooks and pop nous of Day & Age; without sounding overtly like any one in particular. It's the sound of a band recognizing, and celebrating, their own identity. To borrow Brandon’s maxim, Battle Born is The Killers “Doing what we do best.”

The Killers Battle Born Track Listing:

1.  Flesh And Bone
2.  Runaways
3.  The Way It Was
4.  Here With Me
5.  A Matter Of Time
6.  Deadlines And Commitments

1.  Miss Atomic Bomb
2.  The Rising Tide
3.  Heart Of A Girl
4.  From Here On Out
5.  Be Still
6.  Battle Born
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Related Articles
1. Flesh And Bone
2. Runaways
3. The Way It Was
4. Here With Me
5. A Matter Of Time
6. Deadlines And Commitments

1. Miss Atomic Bomb
2. The Rising Tide
3. Heart Of A Girl
4. From Here On Out
5. Be Still
6. Battle Born

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