By Zach Hester (Photo by Dana Trippe)
In his first solo outing since taking a hiatus as lead guitarist for The Killers, Dave Keuning is electric. With almost a decade of professional music under his belt, Keuning presents Prismism as his debut record with a grain of salt as he takes all that he learned as a member of The Killers and fuses that with a strong aura of 1980s rock.
The album feels carefree and full of both expectations and possibilities. The possibilities of what a solo career could bring and the expectations that arrive with a name like Dave Keuning at the helm of this project.
An electronic influence takes front and center in the title track, and in the album’s lead single “Restless Legs.” The latter is a fun track that seems like something that The Killers have might’ve made a pass on during their Day & Age era. “Broken Clocks” gives me that feeling too, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
I have to compare Keuning’s voice to something like a toned down Curt Smith from Tears for Fears. In fact, even if it’s unintentional, Tears for Fears and the influence of bands like them seem to hang over this record. “Boat Accident” and “The Queen’s Finest” boast catchy choruses and mellow beats, while songs like “I Ruined You” and “If You Say So” definitely focus more on their instrumentation.
“Ruptured” glides along with the evident theme of the record, “These things that follow me / Hang around and haunting me / Did you figure out a plan for me? / Will you cut me up and set me free?” That theme, to me, seems like the freedom to create something fulfilling. Not to imply that Keuning wasn’t happy with The Killers, but Prismism may provide him the outlet he has waited for.
I feel like Keuning could be the one of the ones to begin a revival of 1980s alternative that can definitely find a home in today’s music scene. While some songs might not completely stick with you, Prismism is catchy, fun and packs more than a few bangers in its back pocket.
Best Songs: The Queen’s Finest, Ruptured, High Places