CD RE­VIEWS

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MUSIC - Jar­rad Be­van

KINGS OF LEON ME­CHAN­I­CAL BULL

BREAK- UP ru­mours be gone, the Kings of Leon are back with a No. 1 al­bum.

For a mo­ment three years ago, it seemed like the Fol­low­ill fam­ily band was over, in no small part be­cause of the melt­down of its front­man. But they are back in full fl ight and singer Caleb Fol­low­ill even cops to some of his bad be­hav­iour on closer On the Chin with con­fes­sions about his “day drink­ing”. His drawl­ing vo­cal style is, six al­bums in, as charm­ing as ever.

The band ticks all the boxes with a big, fat, red marker on Su­per­soaker which sports a Strokes- like riff. Equally im­pres­sive is the butt- kick­ing, heart­tug­ging Wait For Me. The band turns in some swampi­ness on Tonight; bad boy sleazy blues with Rock City, and boo­gie down funk on Fam­ily Tree.

An un­sung hero here is Jared Fol­low­ill, who is fi ring on all cylin­ders. His bass is the back­bone of the al­bum’s best songs.

ESKIMO JOE WASTE­LANDS

PERTH hit- mak­ers Eskimo Joe have got­ten out of their com­fort zone, way way out of their zone.

For al­bum six the trio hired Bourke Reid of Ger­ling to pro­duce, buried Kav Tem­per­ley’s vo­cals a lit­tle deeper in the mix and added drum ma­chines and a whole boat- load of synths.

Fear not, this isn’t their “elec­tro al­bum”, but it is dif­fer­ent to what they’ve done be­fore. This is a band look­ing to break free from their shack­les, they’ve got the free­dom to do any­thing at all and the re­sults are pos­i­tive.

A big emo­tional bal­lad like Disgrace is as good as any sin­gle from their back cat­a­logue with its brood­ing mood, gospel tinges and a can­did tale about trans­for­ma­tion.

Up­beat sin­gle Got What You Need is punchy and bouncy; Not Alone shows off their new melodic synth skills with a struc­ture aimed squarely at the dancefl oor; and then there is the high­light Run­ning Out of Needs, which opens with acous­tic strum­ming and Tem­per­ley’s dis­tinct tone be­fore the sonic ex­per­i­men­ta­tion train pulls into the sta­tion car­ry­ing some weird cargo.

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