Reaves column: Nashville band Kings of Leon deserves more attention

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 11, 2008

I’ve been listening to the new Kings of Leon single “Sex on Fire” way too much recently, because it is that good, and it really made me realize how strange it is that they are not more well known here in America.
The Kings are huge over in England, yet they are practically unknown here, outside of the college crowd. It’s not like they are foreigners or anything.
They are from Nashville, so they should have their home country on their side, but alas they do not.
American radio is more concerned with playing the same bands and songs over and over again than giving more deserving acts the spotlight. If you don’t know about KOL, here is a brief history.
The band is made up of three brothers and one cousin, all with the last name Followill. Caleb is the singer/guitarist, Nathan is the drummer, Jared is the bassist, and cousin Matthew is lead guitar.
The band is named for their grandfather, Leon. They started off playing country music, but soon discovered rock and began developing a more garage rock sound.
Their first full length album “Youth and Young Manhood” was released in 2003 with tracks such as “Red Morning Light” and “Molly’s Chamber” being featured in a few commercials.
Their next album “Aha Shake Heartbreak” has probably their most well-known song “The Bucket” on it, which was featured in a VH1 commercial that year. “Taper Jean Girl,” another song from that album, was used in the movie “Disturbia.”
The next release, “Because of the Times” came out in 2007 and is their most ambitious to date. The album featured more experimentation from the band as they moved away from their garage rock roots into harder rock.
This album went to number one in the UK, while here it barely grazed the top 25. I saw them while they were touring for this album at Bonnaroo 2007, and they blew me away. They sound better onstage than they do in the studio, which says a lot because their studio recordings are very good.
The new album, “Only by the Night,” comes out later this month (Sept. 23 to be exact), and I highly suggest that you get a copy of it, along with their other music. The three tracks I’ve heard from this new album are superb and some of their best stuff yet.
The KOL grow by leaps and bounds each album, which makes it even more of a travesty that they are not better known here. Definitely check them out if they tour near you.
(To pre-order a copy of the Kings of Leon’s upcoming release, “Only By the Night” go to
Musician Jesse Reaves lives in Salisbury. Contact him at