POPSCREEN: The Killers

"Human" dir. Alan Smithee

Cougars, tigers, and killers, oh my! What do you get when you strand a band in the desert with a couple of amps, some lighting rigs, and a few carnivorous land animals? The Killers’ latest video for their new single “Human,” of course. Despite the rather random concept of this short (a mix of Discovery Channel and Siegfried and Roy), the stark setting and lack of narrative definitely highlights their most obvious talent—live performance. And those who have followed this group since their formative days of indie hair and the bejeweled synthesizer will appreciate the simplicity in technique that evokes nostalgia for the band’s past endeavors.

But that’s just skimming the surface. The Killers wouldn’t be the band they are today without a little quirkiness thrown in for good measure. They’ve already ridden tiny donkeys, fallen in love with courtesans, and pretended to be cowboys. Now, it’s time to flirt with danger. Bring on the cougars and white tigers. The animals do seem a little irrelevant at first—the Killers are one with nature, we get it. But if white tigers, the desert, and ridiculous flashing lights can work for a pair of German magicians, why not the Killers?

These quirks do work when you consider that “Human” really sets itself apart from the current trend flooding YouTube these days. The video is neither overly artsy nor X-rated, but is familiar enough in concept to be just that fresh breath of desert air you need (trust me, all that brown and red grows on you). Essentially, the merit of the song, with its catchy hook and earnest, personable lyrics, is what makes the video work. Seriously. So why shouldn’t these Las Vegas natives cash in on a formula tried and tested by the likes of Coldplay and U2? After all, there’s no place like home.