thehivesTotally killer album from Swedish band the Hives, who serve up their rock with “a little punk,” to quote Pelle Almqvist, their lead singer. The Black And White Album, produced by Pharrell Williams, is easily the most consistent record they’ve yet done, with only one cut I thought was a bit of a dud, “Giddy Up!,” and it’s not even that…dud-like of a track, really. It’s just not as good as everything that surrounds it, which is otherwise relentlessly high powered, infectious fun, 45 minutes wherein you’ll be sure you’re listening to the most fun, most rockin’ band there is now. Standout cuts: “Tick Tick Boom,” “Try It Again,” “You Got It All…Wrong” and “Bigger Hole To Fill.”

The Killers – Sawdust

November 14, 2007

Sawdust is a hit and miss collection of unreleased tracks, B sides, covers and new material from Las Vegas based band the Killers, which is probably par for the course for any album like this. That said, there are more hits than misses among the 17 tracks collected here, including the first two tracks, one a collaboration with Lou Reed called “Tranquilizer” and another a Joy Division cover, “Shadowplay.” I also liked “Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf,” one of the rare rock songs that tackle adult themes, and “Glamorous Indie Rock And Roll.” Overall, the songs here find the Killers in a somewhat quieter mood, for them anyway: The songs feel, well, calmer, and they fare pretty well in this mode, as opposed to the big, epic mode one usually hears them in. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone as an entry point to their work, but fans will definitely find lots to like here, and overall, it’s a good listen.