These days life comes at you slow for the Followill clan. It’s not that rock n’ roll excesses are totally incompatible with marriage and being a parent, it’s just that clearly one can severely impede your enjoyment of the other. This communal mellowing has been a slow process since 2008’s Only By The Night finally earned them European-level recognition at home, but the premise of their eighth album is based largely on what the Kings of Leon represent in the so far muted twenties.
At first listen to the music preceding the main event the answer it seemed was much the same as before; on The Bandit their big room howl was as reliably crowned as ever, their rust-belt storytelling and mid-tempo canter crisp and meaning business. What emerges from the package as a whole though are hints of reaching a fork in the road, Time In Disguise holding a lamp up to the false reciprocity between performer and fan as it ages, Supermarket a tentative look at self-actualisation.
Yes, these are the same men who once sang about brothels and hangovers on Molly’s Chambers, but whilst A Golden Restless Age and the eco-warning Claire & Eddie are about as rebellious as a tax return, When You Look At Yourself is by satisfying the faithful more like a well constructed insurance policy. And nobody even punched anyone.
You can read the full review here.