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.