PRESSURE MACHINE - THE KILLERS ALBUM REVIEW
The Killers are back with their brand new haunting and experimental album Pressure Machine.
It seems like The Killers have finally got their groove back, as Pressure Machine exceeds what the band has done in the last few years and shows exactly why the band has the longevity they do; they're not afraid to try something a little different.
Although 'Pressure Machine' generally tells seemingly fictional stories, there's no hiding the fact that this record feels incredibly personal. Although Flowers is often perceived as a spectacular showman, which he is, with roots in Las Vegas, the frontman also spent some time in a tiny town in Utah in his childhood, similar to the one you can imagine being described on this album. Whether it is actually the town he's describing or not is up for debate, but to the listener, this doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.
On many of the songs on 'Pressure Machine', including album opener 'West Hills', we see audio snippets of different locals of the town talking and telling their stories. Following this audio, 'West Hills' goes into an epic and world-building ballad featuring scuzzy guitars and showing off the vocals we know Flowers well for. However, this is flipped on its edge with the title track which plays after. It feels that Pressure Machine is genreless and a melting pot of different genres all at once, with hints towards rock, folk, pop, and so forth. Despite this, the feel of the album is consistent throughout, and this consistency allows it to transform the listener to this world created by the band.
Although The Killers to the majority of this short album alone, they do have one song which features indie music icon, Phoebe Bridgers. Bridgers was an absolutely excellent choice for a feature on this album, as her own style of music perfectly matches this melancholy alternative sound The Killers are taking on. 'Runaway Horse' tells the story of a small-town girl who gave up on her bigger dreams to stay in the town, and the subtle changes in the choruses show this sad but realistic transition. From chorus one with the lyrics "We had spring in our heels / Unwavering forces, headfirst into the unknown" into "There was a promise in our stride / But we changed courses, headfirst into the unknown" in the second.
It's this kind of description and flow of narrative that runs through the veins of 'Pressure Machine' and it really is what steps it up to a brand new level. It's the type of album that we can't imagine having been made if the world hadn't shut down and given the band some time to really explore their songwriting creativity, similar to albums like Taylor Swift's 'Folklore' and 'Evermore'. Pressure Machine is a success in every sense for The Killers and shows that sometimes it is good to strip music back, forget about the performance of it all, and focus on the nitty-gritty.