The Killers

Few bands in the early 2000s rose so quickly to the forefront of pop music as the Killers. With a mix of '80s-styled synth pop and fashionista charm, the band's street-smart debut, Hot Fuss, became one of 2004's biggest releases, spawning four singles and catapulting the group -- particularly their dandyish, 22-year-old frontman, Brandon Flowers -- into the international spotlight. Hot Fuss reveled in the garish glitz of the band's native Las Vegas, spinning tales of androgynous girlfriends and illicit affairs to a public whose taste for revivalist dance-rock would prove to be virtually insatiable. Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, and the Bravery all benefited from such retro-minded interest, but the Killers unapologetically trumped them all -- even when their sophomore effort, Sam's Town, deemphasized the group's new wave sensibilities in favor of something more akin to the heartland rock of Bruce Springsteen and Rattle and Hum-era U2.