Volume 47, Number 2 - September 8, 2009

About the Reporter

Bryant Del Toro
Bryant Del Toro
Staff Writer

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Poster of Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon Make Their Mark

By Bryant Del Toro

For years the throne of rock has been empty waiting for someone worthy enough to rule it. This someone must not only be an accomplished musician, but someone that commands the stage, grabbing their audience by the ears, throats and groins. The southern rock band appropriately named Kings of Leon does just that.

These boys are raising the charts and selling out stadiums with the force of a bat out of hell. Already on tour for their fourth studio album, the Kings of Leon are marking their place in rock history. These Tennessee rockers have a life story that lives up to the extravagance of their music.

The band consists of three brothers, all of which go by their middle names, Anthony or "Caleb" Followill on guitar and lead vocals, 27, Ivan "Nathan" Followill on drums, 29, and Michael "Jared" Followill, on bass, 23. The boys formed the band in 2000 with their cousin Cameron "Matthew" Followill, 24, on lead guitar.  The name Kings of Leon is a tribute to their father and grandfather whose name was Leon.

In 2003, Kings of Leon released the EP Holy Roller Novocaine. Later that same year their debut album Youth and Young Manhood was released. The album was such a success that Kings of Leon were invited to tour with heavy hitters and legends, such as U2 and The Strokes.

The album and touring helped propel them to greatness and helped spawn several singles such as “Molly's Chambers” and “Red Morning Light.” The song “Holy Roller Novocaine” was featured in the film Talladega Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby. In 2005, they released their sophomore album Aha Shake Heartbreak and their follow up album Because of the Times (2007).

Their new found stardom may have led the boys out of the south, but you can’t take the south out of them. After several months with a broken arm, Caleb took off the sling and wrote “Sex On Fire,” which became there first single on the new album Only by the Night (2008).

Kings of Leon is one of the most creative, entertaining, diverse bands out there. One moment they are making you rock out hard to “Four Kicks,” then they intrigue you with the uniqueness of “Razz” and then they soothe your soul with the acoustic sounds of “Milk,” but still manage to maintain their southern rock sound or southern soul. I am proud to crown Kings of Leon as the must hear, must see, and definitely must know band of our time.

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