Muse vs The Killers: TRAILER WARS!By Clive Martin
Apparently an NME page three feature on how "WE NEARLY KILLED EACH OTHER MAKING THIS RECORD" isn't enough to promote an album anymore. The world of indie music has evidently been inspired by some Prometheus style hyper-marketing, and began to produce trailers for albums. Sadly, these aren't my favorite kind of trailers, which are the ones that start off with a forboding, gravelly voiced dude saying something like "One man...on a journey...", and then suddenly, *RECORD SCRATCH*, it's Johnny English! LMAO! Those ones never fail to get me. Boringly, Muse and The Killers have gone a bit more serious on us with their trailers, using them to show a tantalising glimpse of a future sound.
But the question is, which trailer makes me want to go out and hear the album? And which trailer would have me contemplating a trip to the Gent's before the film starts if I saw it in a cinema? Let's discuss:
Muse - The 2nd Law
It seems to me that Muse have been reading a bit too much David Icke and watching a few too many "Denver Airport Conspiracy" YouTube videos. It's full of pre-apocalyptic imagery (panicking stockbrokers, hyperventilating newsreaders) straight out of a 90s disaster movie like Outbreak or Deep Impact. If this was a movie, there's no doubt that Morgan Freeman would play the President, with the Muse boys as a trio of West Country scientists turned action heroes. But what is this threat to Earth that everybody seems so in fear of? Well, knowing Muse, The 2nd Law is probably about their phobia of modesty and minimalism. And what is the new sound that Muse offer us? Well, it's dubstep. Of course it's dubstep. They probably realised their fanbase of angry 14-year-old boys in Fender T-shirts is growing up and finding solace and homo-erotic virtuosity in Skrillex, so they've decided to beat him at his own game. Mixing the dubstep drops and wub-wubs with a kind of Yngwie Malmsteen-esque Guitar Hero wankery. God, it's going to sell by the ton.
Did it make me want to listen to the album? I never thought I'd say this, but yeah, kind of. If out of nothing but pure rubber-necking car crash curiosity, I'm sort of fascinated by it. It's almost like this album was tailor made for John Cale-listening squares like me to despise. Are Muse actually the most punk band on Earth? Trolling the tasteful, by combining their two most hated musical genres; bro-step and neo-classical fret wanking metal? I think they might be.
The Killers - Battle Born
At this point, I should probably point out that I'm an unabashed and unashamed fan of The Killers. I think they're fantastic, the last great American rock band (apart from The Gaslight Anthem), one of the few acts whose live show is as good as their songwriting. I know it's not very cool to say that, but I work for VICE, thus I'm cool enough to say whatever I want. So needless to say, I was pretty hyped for this trailer. It gets off to an arty start with a pink sun sinking beneath the desert hills, like something from a Sting video. Then we see fire, snatched glimpses of the band's logo behind the flickers, and then finally the band themselves. Pensively standing about like nervous teenagers waiting for an unreliable weed dealer. Musically, well, it's The Killers. Thank god they haven't been listening to Flux Pavillion. Rising synths and stirring guitars, no lyrics sadly, but they'll almost definitely be about Jesus.
Did it make me want to listen to the album? Not as such, because everybody knows that The Killers are a singles band. They tend to stack up the hits early on the album and then pad it out with a load of crap like "Glamorous Indie Rock 'n' Roll" and those weird bits on Sam's Town. But I'm sure at least a third of it will be great?
Which do I want to listen to more? It's gotta be Muse I'm afraid, in the same way I still sort of want to see the Outkast musical they made and the Daniel Pearl execution video. It's not going to be pretty, but I'm horribly intrigued by it, in a kind of Rotten.com kind of way. I don't know if I'll ever get round to hearing The 2nd Law, but I know I'm gonna need a stiff drink after.
Follow Clive on Twitter @thugclive
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