Well. I love Bowie. And Hunky Dory is one of my top Bowie records. It's so overlooked because people focus on the Ziggy. But. Check this out...
In the song Queen Bitch -- Bowie was sounding very influenced by his immediate predecessors (he used to be more soul mowtowny, until they succeeded first with the trippy stuff) The Velvet Underground.
You can't say music is mediocre JUST because it is derivative. Sometimes I believe there's nothing original but only blends of some universally good concepts, stories, truths, sounds, whatever.
So I give the Killers points.
If people are going to sing and play well, I don't mind if they reference other respectable acts / musicians. I didn't mind if Bowie tipped his hat to his peer, Lou Reed. I didn't mind if Lou Reed stole a move from Iggy Pop. I don't mind that the Killers took bits of all of them. It's like art history.
So long as they pay tribute, and admit it, so long as they add to the cannonized well of inspiration, instead of just draw from it, I am cool with recordings that show their roots. AND I like the Killers musicianship. That guy can sing well, and strongly.
I actually think Mr. Brightside's vocals are done far more out-front (in terms of their value relative to other instruments) and the melody is delivered with a more direct approach. Bowie is going all performative, and screechy-preachy on Queen Bitch comparitively. Yet, clearly there's a tribute to Bowie in almost everything the Killers do, whether they meant it or not.
Anyway. Listen to the VU's song "Rock & Roll" released a couple of years before Bowie did "Queen Bitch" and you'll see what I'm talkin bout.
But this won't sway whether or not the Killers nice production value and narrative (if not that deep) lyrical content actually puts the ants in your pants.
I think the song I liked most of the Killers, when I was into them, was: Jenny Was a Friend of Mine. And Somebody Told Me. Yep. Those two I loved. Followed by Smile Like You Mean It which comes dangerously close to late-u2 territory.
Anyway. Yeah. They're not Bowie. BUT they're WAY better than Arcade Fire. And I think on par with some stuff like T. Rex, The Strokes, Wilco. But nowhere near worship worthy -- yet. Think they'll be around a while.
The band with the murderous name I really like? The Kills! They are way more enticing to me. But mostly the Keep on Your Mean Side record.
end killers consideration,