After a long five years since Battle Born, it appears Brandon and the Barnyard Boys are back in town with comeback track ‘The Man’.
The Killers have always cultivated a sense of silliness, it’s what makes them enjoyable, but Battle Born was flat-out campy in parts.
‘The Man’ isn’t exactly Rambo either, but it’s great fun, and a return to form.
It’s an 80s new wave song, as recorded in East Berlin in the early 90s: so yeah, it sounds a lot like Achtung Baby. Brandon Flowers has always fluttered close to the shining totem of earnest-cum-ironic frontmen, Bono (‘Heart of a Girl’), and that adoration only grows here.
It could easily be Bono’s persona The Fly singing this, all wraparound shades and leather jacket and shit-kicking grin. That isn’t to take away from the track, which is slick, punchy and a fucking good time.
Brandon Flowers has never swaggered, until now. The catwalk strut of the beat does most of the work for him, but this is one of the few times I’ve actually enjoyed a vocal from him. I never bought the over-earnestness of his style, but here Flowers is really pushing out of his range and finding a totally new sound.
His loose, playful delivery of the titular hook “Who’s the man with the plan?” is laced in irony that hangs just above flat out silliness. The presence of Stuart Price is felt strongly here: he has a real skill for making shiny, danceable pop that manages to verge on the right side of credulity. There is an audacity to ‘The Man’ that we just haven’t heard from them. The way the music drops out completely at the final verse, the come-on falsetto squawks and vocoders all speak to a band in peak creative form. And sorry, is that the cash register from Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’?
First impressions are that this is a very, very good Killers song, and can stand up with their best. A dirty disco funk track between ‘Mysterious Ways’ and ‘Supermassive Black Hole’, fans get hyped: The Man is back in town.
Listen to The Man on Annie Mac here.