Kings Of Leon – Because Of The Times

Kings Of LeonKings of Leon have been one of the few bands that have simply been allowed to get on with things. Three albums in, and there’s been no feuds, no grand proclamations and they’ve not shagged Kate Moss. Of course they gained some press attention when they released their first album and it was revealed that the father of the three brothers in the group was a de-frocked, former traveling  preacher. Some cried “bullshit!” and Q magazine even sent a writer to the guys’ home area to see if there was any truth to the story. Of course it was true, but frankly that’s of no importance; to me the first two Kings of Leon albums (Youth & Young Manhood and A-ha Shake Heartbreak) are two of the best albums of the past decade.

So I was surprised when the band veered from their musical style to a degree for their third album. Their previous works had been a blend of Southern styled rock (Skynard, Creedance) and rough garage rock. The opening sythnethizer at the start of “On Call”, the first single, was a surpise to me, but it was still the same band. Caleb Followill’s trademark yowl was still there and the band are as tight as ever, but it seems to be that Kings Of Leon are pushng themselves harder, musically speaking. There’s also more of a new-wave influence as most the songs have strong bass and drums but the guitars are sparse.

The seven minute-plus opening track “Knocked Up” is probably the best example of this; it’s drum and bass led all the way apart from the chorus. The vocals are shrouded in the mix and the guitars chime and sparkle rather that riff away. “McFearless” almost sounds like Bloc Party, and that’s a good thing. The drumming is frantic and the vocals soar on the chorus. Some fans might be put off by this change of style, but I think it’s great to see the band trying new things and coming out on tops. Long may they continue.

Kings Of Leon – On Call:

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