It isn’t often that we come across Killers covers that really seem to emulate the band moniker in all of its variegated connotations. There’s the colloquial adjective; a cover could sound “killer,” in the surfer sense of complimenting something. It could be “killer” in a more literal sense, as though it’s wrapped up in all the macabre trappings of a story about a killer, with a slow pensiveness not quite present in the offbeat, pop-rock originals. Or a Killers cover could simply be deserving of its namesakes, sounding like some sort of introspective alternate take that Brandon Flowers and company might have approached their music with.
This Unique Museum – Northampton UK’s Ben Fitton – somehow manages all of this. The title of Fitton’s Killers cover EP, Installment One: A Killer, A Murder, A Mystery…, kicks off the macabre theme of the whole project immediately. The sound seems to dive into the lyrics, exploring subtler elements that the Killers steamroll over with their sometimes manic pace, and it does indeed all add up to a truly killer effect.
The four tracks – “All These Things That I’ve Done,” “Smile Like You Mean It,” “Somebody Told Me,” and “Mr. Brightside” – are essentially all the hits and near-hits of the Killers’ debut Hot Fuss, but Fitton throws together quiet, delicate, oddly suspenseful instrumentation, and low-key vocals to perfect effect, giving the songs more of the feel of the neglected, back-catalog masterpieces. One thing is sure – on this EP, these Killers classics are in unique hands. Stream them all below (click the arrows to skip ahead) and click “Buy” to download.