Above: Caleb and the Followill boys storm-troop through "Black Thumbnail," a cut off the brand-new "Because of the Times," which comes out Tuesday.
| KINGS OF LEON
‘Because of the Times’
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Even before they released their debut album in 2003, the Kings of Leon faced a challenge: Create music that is as interesting as the stories and myths that surround it.
The Kings are four members of the Followill clan: three brothers and a cousin from Tennessee with religion, scandal and backwoods pathos in their past. A synopsis of their lives might read: “Three brothers and a cousin start successful band despite spending part of their boyhoods living in a car with their itinerant father/uncle, Leon Followill, a defrocked Pentecostal minister who hated rock music.”
Whether it was the music or their bio or both, the first Kings’ album, “Youth and Young Manhood,” stirred up some heavy pre-release buzz. Its stripped-down vibe, however, inspired lots of lazy comparisons to the Strokes and other rock revivalists of the time. The followup, “Aha Shake Heartbreak,” was more of the same musically but with raunchier blues and better songwriting.
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