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The insider's guide to The Killers

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(CNN) -- Killer tunes or re-heated Meat Loaf? Everything you need to know about the world's hottest pop band and their new album, "Sam's Town."

So what's all the fuss about?

The "Hot Fuss" actually. That was the name of The Killer's first album, released in 2004, and still doing brisk business (five million-plus sales worldwide) thanks to hits like the anthemic "All These Things That I Have Done," indie floor-fillers "Mr. Brightside" and "Somebody Told Me" and the disco-noir of "Smile Like You Mean It." Now the band are back with their second album, "Sam's Town," which hits the record stores and -- for the under-25s -- iTunes on Monday.

And who are these bright young things?

Four "dance-punk New Romantic glitz pimps" (Rolling Stone) from Las Vegas with their hometown's instinct for showmanship and an idiosyncratic taste for 1980s British New Wave electro-pop. Perhaps unsurprisingly given their influences (Joy Division, New Order -- who featured a fictitious band called The Killers in one of their videos -- The Smiths), it was in the UK where the band made their big breakthrough. Maybe you saw them at Live 8. They were the four dudes in white suits squeezed into the London Live 8 lineup at the last minute last year to give it a bit of credibility before the geriatrics took charge.

White suits? More Duran Duran than Joy Division surely?

For the past couple of years lead singer Brandon Flowers, 25, has been forging a reputation as the best-dressed man in rock, modeling a series of dandy designer tuxedos. But now the band have scrubbed off the eyeliner, burned their blazers and grown stubble in search of a more macho sound. To the horror of thousands of female fans, the pop pin-up has even been spotted sporting an ill-judged facial accessory.

Actually I'm quite partial to a nice handlebar...

Sorry girls, despite the rock n' roll glitz and glamour, Flowers is in fact an abstemious Mormon and already married to a trainee primary school teacher with whom he shares a house in the Vegas suburbs.

Not exactly Led Zeppelin, then. Still, I suppose they have a high opinion of themselves?

Flowers has called "Sam's Town" "one of the best albums of the past 20 years" and says there is "nothing that touches this album." After listening to it again, just to make sure, he told an interviewer, "I can back up my big mouth."

So is "Sam's Town" any good?

The jury's still out, with the band's new direction drawing comparisons with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, U2, Tom Petty and, ahem, Meat Loaf. "Yes, that means glockenspiel solos. Yes, it means anthems about the road and looking for America and girls named Mary. No, it's not a good move," said "Rolling Stone." But the band's PR team have clearly been working overtime in the UK where the band's propaganda mouthpiece, the NME, asked "Boss or toss?" before concluding "The Killers are still the biggest indie-pop stars in the world" and giving the album a weighty eight out of 10. Even dad rock bible "Q" described it as "big and bold, daft and dazzling."

Sounds like one for the kids. I think I'll buy Bob Dylan's new album instead.

Get lost Granddad, I'm more of an Arctic Monkeys man.

The Killers: "dance-punk New Romantic glitz pimps."


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