Saturday 19th April 2014,

Writing Under the Influence: Kings of Leon – Only by the Night

Chris - Staff Writer 06/09/2012 Album Reviews, Features, Writing Under the Influence 1 Comment

Well, it’s 4:00 in the afternoon, so I guess it’s time for a drunken review. For this segment I will be drinking everyone’s favourite German incendiary device, Jaegermeister. Nothing says partying like Jager, so I decided to hit up a party album for tonight’s festivities - Kings of Leon’s Only by the Night. I have a love-hate relationship with this band and I’m hoping that Captain Jaeger Bomb will be able to wok out my complicated feelings for me.

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Part I: The first bomb fell

Nothing says class like Jaeger Bombs in wine glasses. Let’s do this.

Kings of Leon were a (kind of?) respected garage rock band for a few years until this album hit our ears and ‘Sex on Fire’ made every college girl spontaneously sexbust (it’s combustion, but sexy!). The album had a few hits, but in many ways it was just another pop rock album, and for this, I hated it. But there were two or three track that hinted at a new kind of Kings of Leon, one that didn’t play fast-paced indie rock about sex and cocaine with half-growled – half-slurred vocals, and one that didn’t write awful songs pandering to horny girls far out of their age range. This hidden Kings of Leon was playing arena rock, but they were doing it with a sense of power and grandeur. The opener to this album, ‘Closer,’ does exactly that. It uses echoed guitars to create space and tremoloed guitars to create distance. It actually creates the distance that Caleb is fighting. That’s pretty cool right? The first time I heard this song I was genuinely impressed and I looked forward to an album that would carry through with this new-found sense of depth and creativity.

Then ‘Crawl’ comes on. Fuck. Things were looking up, I swear. Of all the people in the world to rip off, why make it Sam Roberts? He’s just a good guy from Quebec. ‘Where Have All The Good People Gone’ was a great song and I make a point of singing its backup vocals over the chorus of ‘Crawl,’ because, well, fuck you Caleb. What, just because he’s Canadian you think no one will notice? This is why our good artists don’t make it big Caleb; this is why you end up with Avril Lavigne. I need another drink.

Part II: Napalm

Yeah, I was right. I needed another drink. ‘Sex on Fire’ is themost frustratingly annoying song I have ever heard. It’s shallow, itr’s reminding me of my own sexual inferiority, and mostly, it’s really damn catchy. I DON’T WANT TO LIEK YOU! Stop being so fun. Those offbeat guitar parts in the verse and the lead squeals in the chorus are just painfully fun. You’re like a round of lasertag that had sex with a waterpark and I can’t stand it. I can distinctly remember going on MSN (back when MSN was a thing) and seeing people with lyrics from this song in their names, and then seeing it on Facebook,  and then realising that I spend far too much time on the internet. It was like crack to girls looking for a man that would fulfil them in all the ways their real man could not. If Lady Chatterly had an iPod it would have played this song on repeat.

And here we go onto ‘Use Somebody.’ Why put the two most obnoxious tracks you could find and squeeze them nextto each other? This song is also painfully catchy – and to testify, here is my fiancee singing like a one-woman version of Glee:

What grates me the most about this song is that the lyrics play out like Caleb is some kind of wallflower that no one will pay attention to. You’re a rockstar that plays to millions of people on a daily basis. You have coke-fuelled orgies on Tuesdays. FUCKING TUESDAYS.

Part III: Game hunting in New York

Jaeger tastes like genocide spiced with cinnamon. And that isn’t terribly surprssing coming rom a liquer formally nicknamed “Goring-Schnapps. Carly took all my Red Bull, so the last drink was pretty much just a wine glass of Jaeger. But you know what, everything is fine. Because I am being calmed by trhe smooth guitar licks of ‘Manhattan’ and the constant attempts of Caleb to get me to dance with him. Interestingly, this song may be the least dance-inducing of the album. You could have got me to dance two tracks ago but then you had to get fresh and try to feel me up with fire-sex. So you can just sit right there and get blue balls Caleb, I’m just not that type of girl.

‘Revelry’. Does he do anything but dance? I saw them inb London, Ontario once, and I don’t think he danced even once. He is the master of lies. But this song is interesting for one reason: it is a perfct reprsentation of this point on their career; it showscases their inability to decide what kind of music they want to make. The lyrics are party-rock lyrics, the lead guitar is country slide, the bass is Incubus-inspired pop, and the rest make up a ballad. Admittedly, ‘Spiral Staircase’ didn’t have much substance, but at least it was focussed and honest.

Part IV: Don’t knock it if you’ve been here before

It sounds like Christmas! There are bells ringing but wait, now he’s abusing a minor. The whole point of this song is that she’s only 17, and that dirty bended note hints at something…unsettling. And yet, it drives. It drives hard like an eggwhote NIssan Micra packed with five people chugging up a hill at seven in the mornig on almost no gas just to spit in the face pf physics, and it makes me kind of want to root for this love-that-should-not-be. Wait, nope. He just said “it’s the rolling of her Spanish tongue that made me want to stay.” Gross dude. She’s only 17.

‘Notion.’ This song is what made me sit down and listen to this album in the firstplace. No matter how poppy this sounds, and how much it kicks their early work in the teeth, it is incredible. I can’t not sing along with this song, and the vocals are outstanding. This is when Caleb’s somewhat toned down vocals from his earlier hillbilly screaminf actually works. He sings with passion and it sounds genuine. Except for the “whoo.” There is no place in modern rock music for the “whoo.” Also, great guitar solo. Simple as could be, but it sounfs absolutely perfect for the tone of the song. Well sone boys, you made a classic. Now alopgise for S’ex on Fire.’ Do it.

Part V: I’m gonna be somebody that loves liquers

‘I Want You.’ This song is the incredible. The cowbell and bass-driven riffs are the sonic equivalent of tender secx. Just lay bakc and letr Caleb take care of you. Until he starts talking about how big a black guys dick is (3:00 mark). Seriously: “It’s heavy, I know: a black guy with the gift down below. A choke and a gag, she spit up and came back for more.” Fucking awkward. Almost literally! But just seconds later we are back to some laidback grooves. The drums really make this song. That and the harmony in the third chorus. Alright, I’m not going t lie to you, these Jaeger bombvs are starting to fuck with me. But this osnf is a good counter point: a slow, playful, well-endowed track.

‘Be Somebody.’ This is another one about dancing, but at leasr it has jungle beats. He fucking loosended his tie man. Get out of his way, he’s about to storm the dance floor with shakes and the abilirty to be somebody just for one dance. This song was made for highschool dances, and it works beautifully. Actually, my fiancee has just pointed out that he may be a strupper and not just a guy willing to dance his way to stardom. Maybe so. He is no longer an ordinary man and he is “held at gun pint” by the ladies wgo canb’t get enouh. Prety interesting theory. She should write man, shes; just great. In any event, I do love Caleb, and I am glad that he is somebvody, asterfall. STRONG INTERLUDE. Very Taylor Hawkins drum part andsweet feedback my boys. Well sone.

Part VI: Getting colder

Well, I;m drunk. I can feel every facet of my face ight no.w I’m all aout of Jarge but I do have some wine. Sure, mixing wine and Jaeger bombs might seem like a bad isea but who are you to judge? Professor of drinking or something? I’m just experminteing. It’s science, and you can’t stop science. Adn I love this sonf. “Its cold in the deery. Water never sees these grounds.” Fuckind meaningful. Strong sonf. Very strong. But in all honesty, this song is actually well written. It might be a bit slower than their usual stuff, but it is emotionally powerful inways that most of the album is not. Their basisst deserves a medal for carrying the fucking band all of this way. He knows what he is doing. Good on you. Plus Caleb’s tortured vocals actually make sense when he isn’t singing sbout sex. Why dose sex make you yell all the time? Is it the ghonerae? Or is thei sjuts the way a perpectual orgasm sounds when put to music? Whatever it is, it’s working. I’m into it. And then he disappears, like it’s done, but it fucking isn’t! ITRS JuST GETTINg STARtED MAN! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH No bodY KNOWD! NOBODY NUT ME!!!!!!

Part VI: Youth and late nights

The remaindwer of this afternoon was taken up by fighting with my fiancee about what exactl was their best album. I maintain that Youth and Young Manhood was their best outing while she says Aha Shake Heartbreak. Duck that noise man. ‘Taper Jean Girl’ is nothing compared to ‘Wasted Time.’ That song is perfect for pub rock. Do it up big dog style.


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1 Comment

  1. Scott - Staff Writer 06/09/2012 at 9:29 PM

    Ahahaha, so great man. I am really impressed that you were able to spell medal correctly by the end of it. Damn impressive.

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