"Aha Shake Heartbreak" (RCA; 2005)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Kings Of Leon are the epitome of Southern garage rock. They have an alternative country-rock style that some might appreciate. I tried to get into their music but it’s so different I just couldn’t find anything that appealed to my taste. They have a front porch/laid back approach when performing. The songs average about three minutes and sometimes even that’s too long. The shorter songs seem to rock or “pebble” across the pond a little faster than others.

The vocal style is very drawn, sometimes sounding like Bon Scott and adding a flavor of Jamaica that really pegs the odd meter at ten. The guitar is okay, the drums seem to back up with no flare ... again, this is quite different than my taste in music.

All of these boys have the same last name, Hollowill, so it’s a family affair.

A few songs might take the onions out of the Mac-n-Cheese but the damage is done and you get a mindset of how the music is going to continue. “Razz” times in at 2:15 and it’s one of the few songs that has any pep. “Four Kicks” has a decent guitar solo that helps close the song out. “Day Old Blues” has some yodeling if you are secretly hiding a fetish from others.
Kings of Leon: Caleb – pipes; Nathan – skins; Jared – slaps; Matthew – licks.

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"Holy Roller Novocaine" (RCA; 2003)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

My local record store was passing out free copies of Kings Of Leon's EP "Holy Roller Novocaine" and I snatched a copy - who am I to pass up a free CD? Both Rolling Stone and New Music Express have hyped Kings Of Leon as the newest kings (pardon the expression) of the retro bands currently catching the fancy of the music industry and music fans alike. I figure Rough Edge readers should know what Kings Of Leon are all about before even considering purchasing or securing a copy of "Holy Roller Novocaine."

All right, here's my take on the latest media darlings Kings Of Leon: Kings Of Leon are basically a Southern rock version of The Strokes. Is that good enough for ya? However, that comparison is not necessarily a bad thing - it's just not something that most Rough Edge readers will be clamoring for. Kings Of Leon share more in common with the Rolling Stones and Tom Petty than anything hard rock or heavy metal related.

The "Holy Roller Novocaine" EP has five tracks and clocks in at less than 16-minutes. The EP is jam-packed as the five tracks cover rock 'n' roll history from classic rock to honky-tonk, blues-rock strutting to roots/country balladry. Despite the brevity of "Holy Roller Novocain" the EP really does make a good impression no matter what you're favorite style of music is.

What is the final verdict on "Holy Roller Novocaine"? Interesting? Yes. Hard rock or heavy metal? Certainly not. But seriously, you can't do much better than a free EP. I'll certainly find an opportunity to throw a track or two from this EP on the many mixed CDs I make to make life interesting for my friends. If your listening experiences are more than just hard rock and heavy metal then Kings Of Leon's "Holy Roller Novocaine" will certainly be an added dimension to your music collection (and if you can get it for free then more the merrier).

"Holy Roller Novocaine" was produced by Ethan Johns.

Kings Of Leon are Caleb Followill on guitar and vocals, Matthew Followill on lead guitar, Jared Followill on bass, and Nathan Followill on drums and vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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