Skip to content

The Earliest Bird: Top New Release 1-8-21 – 1-14-21 Kings Of Leon Reviewed

When did Caleb Followill morph into latter day Ben Affleck, they share a beard and a tired pudgy face, the effects of too much drinking for too long, and, sure, Caleb was always a miserable sod but now he looks like a different miserable sod. After knocking on four and a half years of silence one of the last, great classic rock bands return but who is there to greet them. In the dowdy black and white video that illustrates the first of two new songs, “The Bandit,” nobody, but from the opening finger picked lick Kings Of Leon are surprisingly, shockingly, on top of their game.

I reviewed Kings Of Leon on their last tour in 2017 (here) and the problem was that they were sincerely and supremely miserable: “Kings Of Leon are, given our time and place in the universe, a pretty good rock band. The set was full of goodies dating from as early as 2003 (the terrific “So Long, So Late”) to last years WALLS (a solo Cal on the title track was very good) but they are supremely unenjoyable. They note that their family from Alabama is in the audience so you’d think… I dunno, they’d appear to be happy with the situation and they aren’t. I was very close to the stage and I maybe, maybe not, saw Nathan crack a smile… I’m not promising but maybe. So maybe they need to work from a certain level of intensity that doesn’t allow for a good time being, in fact, a good time” And they haven’t changed a bit.

Nathan (drummer-brother) told NME: “The decision to put it out now was our answer to the fact we aren’t able to tour right now. Hopefully by summer we can make the shows we are booked to play. People can’t see live shows right now, so the next best thing is new music for them to listen to. Putting it out was our way of saying ‘thank you’ to our fans for their patience.”

The album drops March 5th, the songs dropped yesterday and they are both excellent. KoL could always write a song, and definitely, not just melody but a ringing hybrid classic rock Americana that is pure pleasure zone for rock music. There is nobody I can think of them as better at recording songs I can think of in the, admittedly, limited genre. The alabama Followill boys are staying out of the political maelstrom on the odd lyric “The Bandit” – I really don’t know what Caleb is singing about, I assume it is a Western scenario though the sound is nothing at all country, let alone western. It is all ringing guitars and double time drums, and a fine return. The other song, “100,000 People” is a brooder with use of what Caleb had threatened us with:

“Lead guitarist Matthew Followill “really nerded out and found some cool vintage equipment” to use on the album, Caleb also revealed. “He was into organs and synthesisers as I was pulling teeth trying to get him to play more guitar! But when you hear that old equipment, it feels timeless and beautiful,” he said. “A lot of the instruments on this album, you could’ve heard on Pink Floyd or Beatles albums. We really dug deep to find the proper equipment.”

And “100,000 People” isn’t the ringer we want but the “you do” hook is a goodie and the song comes through in the end.

The Bandit – A-

100,000 People – B


Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – August 1975 (Volume 7, Number 3)  

By Steve Crawford | July 7, 2022 |

If I did fifty shows I’d get the money from one

Best Of 2022: Singles In Order Of Preference Through June 30th

By Iman Lababedi | July 7, 2022 |

a growling, prowling slap pump and just another all American

Brief Encounters: New Albums 7-1-22 – 7-7-22 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | July 7, 2022 |

a 28 song full, full blown reggae rasta brilliance

Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – July 1975 (Volume 7, Number 2)

By Steve Crawford | July 7, 2022 |

the boundary breaking shock rocker of the decade

US Top 10 Singles Tracking 6-24-22 – 6-30-22

By Iman Lababedi | July 6, 2022 |

Harry seems to have it sewn up

Best Of 2022: Albums by Artist In Alphabetical Order Through June 30th (Half Way Mark)

By Iman Lababedi | July 6, 2022 |

a superb songwriter who can fill an album with excellent country mainstreamers

Going Steady: New Singles 7-1-22 – 7-7-22 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | July 6, 2022 |

lovely tribute to her single mom

Eileen Shapiro: “Portfolio Of A Rockstar Journalist” Meets The Genesis Great Steve Hackett

By Eileen Shapiro | July 6, 2022 |

a classical guitarist and composer and has released more than 30 solo albums

Press Releases For July: Here Are The Artists

By Alyson Camus | July 6, 2022 |

“The song is about a mental institution”

Freakout Records Announce The 10th Annual Freakout Festival Taking Place on November 10-13 in Ballard (Seattle, WA)

By admin | July 5, 2022 |

a diverse arrangement of voices and sounds

Scroll To Top