Single Review: The Killers – Run for Cover

By on Monday, 31st July 2017 at 12:00 pm

It hasn’t been looking too good for bands from the Noughties. I mentioned in my review of Chris BAIO’s new album that Vampire Weekend are probably done, and The Strokes have been quiet. I thought we could write off The Killers as well, having given up on them after the inconsistent ‘Day and Age’ in 2008. Turns out the band from Las Vegas have a fifth album in them. ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ will be released in September and follows individual band members’ solo and side projects and bassist Mark Stoermer’s break from music to return to school. Two weeks ago, I shared with you the promo video for ‘The Man’, a urban disco-infused thumper of a track that sounded weird for The Killers to me. Shortly after I posted it, I reconsidered, thinking of the annoyingly funky ‘Joy Ride’ from ‘Day and Age’. Maybe they’re just working themselves backwards?

For those of you who think The Killers and disco don’t go together, ‘Run for Cover’ will have you breathing a sigh of relief. Released last Friday, it’s actually sounds like the band have returned way back to their roots. In vocal delivery style, the new single has more in common with ‘Somebody Told Me’ from those nostalgic ‘Hot Fuss’ days than anything in their back catalogue I can put my finger on. The freneticism of guitar notes, followed by bright drumbeats, convey both anxiety and urgency, and the lyrics haven’t even started yet.

It’s a grammar geek’s dream to begin with. Brandon Flowers stretches a rhyme between “progenitors” (when have you heard that in a pop song) and “senator’s”. “What have you gathered to report to your progenitors? / Are your excuses any better than your senator’s?” His tone is accusatory, his forked tongue suggesting his target isn’t any better than that statesman on a pedestal who cheated on his wife and got caught. Ouch. The two pre-choruses conjure images of strong people the protagonist idolizes: African-American boxer Sonny Liston, known to the world for being formidable (curiously, the word for ‘wonderful’ in French) and his mother, strong and resolute, but eventually breaking down: “I said, ‘Momma I know you’ve tried’ / but she fell on her knees and cried”.

Even from these two people who exhibit their positions of strength, the chorus urges us to “run for cover, don’t be afraid of the fear, that’s a played out trap, man / I know you’re not the only one”. Initially, I considered the recommendation curious, as ‘The Man’ who preceded this single was all cocksure. But I don’t think The Killers want us to be scared. While the rapid-fire lyrics of the chorus do give a sense of tumult, a clever use of shiny synths gives this song a special feel, as if it’s intended to inspire action, to protect ourselves and others and in solidarity. Given that some of our American statesmen and stateswomen just voted last week to protect the very healthcare that covers the vulnerable of our country, the timing of this single couldn’t be more perfect. And “He got a big smile, he’s fake news / Just run for cover, you’ve got nothing left to lose”? I’m just going to leave that there and look forward to ‘Wonderful Wonderful’.


‘Run for Cover’, the newest single from The Killers, is out now on Island Records. ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ will follow on the 22nd of September. Catch all of our past coverage here on TGTF on Brandon Flowers and co. through this link.

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