Wednesday, 20 October 2010

KINGS OF LEON - COME AROUND SUNDOWN ;REVIEW


Kings Of Leon - Come Around Sundown

"Come Around Sundown" the 5th album from the band who when their not dividing the country and indie fraternity on whether they are any good any more or just a bunch of stadium rock sell outs are here to stay and still making some of the best music of their ongoing career.

The new set of songs starts in the same vain as the previous album with the slow rumbling bass of "The End", after all there is no point whacking the single as track 1 boys after all, don't want to blow your load too soon, that's saved for track 2 "Radioactive" with its Edge style circling delayed guitar riff that pretty much carry off where "Use Somebody" left off for the stadium rock crowd.

Kings Of Leon could have played this hand very easy and simply made "Only By The Night" part 2 but sticking with the fashion and progression of their last efforts they have moved on while showing a few musical bread crumbs of what came before them earlier. From track 3 onwards they have shown some new colours in their pallet with the almost Tom Petty-esque swinging "Pyro" and while the chorus like a lot of their recent songs is very stadium friendly this is also going to be one for the isolation of headphones on the bus home as well. Other standout tracks include the almost "Boys Don't Cry" type chords of "Beach Side" with its trademark Caleb Followill opening lyrics that sound like a wordless drawl. This is followed in turn by "No Money" which would be my bet for next single due to its meter reminiscent of "King Of The Rodeo". Only the track "Pony Up" seems well.."pony" as it seems to be a bit of a Kings Of Leon by numbers and definitely should have been relegated to a b-side (if such a thing even exists any more) the album doesn't end there and with the track "Birthday" they manage to bring the level up again with this future definite live favourite. The country influences that Followill often talked about in interviews are present here in tracks such as "Back Down South" which its steel guitar bends and slides and the mariachi style "Mi Amigo" complete with "Ring Of Fire" style trumpets which show more influences of drugstore truck driving men rather then skinny jean wearing fey sensitive indie boys. "Come Around Sundown" ends with "Pickup Truck" again with the standard fade in and echo guitar (starting to get a little tired by track 10 lads). A nice enough bookend to the album and a strong enough contribution although as with some of the other tracks including "The Face" and "The Immortals" some how missed opportunity arrangement wise simply relying on their set bag of tricks and sometimes end up sounding a little tired and boring where once there were the NEW sound.

The indie elite of NME and other magazines seem to have already had the jury's decision back 10 seconds after hearing "Sex On Fire" and have hung,drawn and quartered the band for the very un-cool crime of being popular and becoming successful beyond their piers. I understand that when your mum and the milkman start whistling the chorus to your favourite songs in your teenage years you feel like the only way to regain the balance is to distance yourself from it and spit at them but like it or not Kings Of Leon are here for the long haul and are making strong work. On first listening it doesn't grab me the way "Because Of The Times" caught my attention from the opening bars but this is small potatoes when I'm sure after the multiple listens I'll get from every radio station, TV advert and probably (god forbid) X-factor auditions I'll be hearing some of these tracks for the foreseeable future and whistling them myself as I get my semi skimmed 4 pinter. File next to "auto-pilot", they haven't re-invented the wheel nor have they gone back to horse and cart, they have made a good solid record to be proud of, if only R.E.M could produce an album this good rather then resting on past glories maybe NME would cheer up about KOL's success.

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