April 19, 2007

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Kings of Leon, Because of the Times
RCA Records, 2007

Times up, Kings of Leon, now blow us away or bug off back to the eighth circle of Nashville. As nervous Xtian-fundie-raised teenage hicks, you were lavished with so much frankincense and myrrh from the indie press that they were about to impose mandatory drawings-and-quarterings on all infidels who dared diss you. “Keep hope alive,” they all murmured, raising curdled-milk-colored fists to your Screamin’ Jay Hawkins vs Mission of Burma fever dreams, “these guys really like playing music,” as though you’re the only band that really does, and somebody let you open for Dylan – do you even know what that means? These days, though, nobody gets it, do they. All the oldbies point out the Strokes-sized buzz you had, so the newbies are erroneously comparing you to the Strokes when reporting on your music, and since both newbies and oldbies erroneously compare Caleb’s voice to Bon Scott’s instead of Screamin’ Jay’s, everybody’s running around yelling Bon Scott! and Strokes! in the same sentence. So you do what any other bunch of rebellious farm-kids worried about class-action fraud lawsuits would do: throw in some hand-me-down Pixies dada and call it “a logical next step.” This is a job for Superman, Kings of Leon, and I am here to help you. C+ Eric W. Saeger