Does this song even need an introduction? Whether you first heard it fourteen years ago or fourteen minutes ago on the radio, you know that this is the very definition of a jam. It was The Killers’ debut single and they probably could have stopped making music then, because it’s now one the most recognizable alternative rock songs ever. Remember that time Cameron Diaz danced around to it in the amazing Christmas movie, The Holiday?.
For a song that’s so upbeat, it’s actually quite negative: One listen to that memorable chorus—“Jealousy, turning saints into the sea/Swimming through sick lullabies, choking on your alibis”—and it’s pretty obvious that Brandon Flowers is talking about an unhappy experience. Maybe it’s those relatable feelings that make it so easy to scream into a microphone.
There’s no shortage of bands taking a shot at covering the beloved song, but I recently discovered Undercast’s version and I’m really into it. It’s faster, the drums are heavier, and their pop-punk vibes take “Mr. Brightside” from a dancing-in-your-living-room number to a moshpit-ready tune. The Australian band kept the upbeat-yet-angsty spirit of the song though, and it’s just as easy to sing as the original…if you can sing and headbang at the same time, that is.
The Killers will go down in history as making one of the most successful and enduring earworms of all time…but next time I wanna shout the words “I’m coming out of my cage and I’ve been doing just fine”, I might have to go with the more hardcore Undercast.