It’s become cliche when a band goes back to basics, both the saying and the action, but that’s the best way to describe the latest from Nashville’s Kings of Leon on their seventh album Walls. The record is straightforward in its sound, a rolling southern rock feel that’s not quite Bruce Springsteen-leaning Killers, but enough to keep it clean and warm.
Walls opens with the single Waste A Moment, that isn’t quite unlike their 2008 smash Sex On Fire without the cock rock elements. The instrumentation in the intro indicates what to rightfully expect from the rest of the album. Quick melodies, funky basslines and choruses that are choruses because they are big and mighty, but not too meaty.
Where the band have leaned in particular directions since moving into the mainstream with Only By The Night, the performance on this record feels less restricted. As expected, there are tracks appropriate for arenas, such as the looming Over or the airy Conversation Piece, but they’d also work in smaller venues alongside the reflective Muchacho or mellow title track. Collectively, the album sounds as if the band made the decision not to answer to anyone and just dive right in, resulting in a more direct sound that covers all bases. It’s polished and not particularly outstanding, but at this point it works.
1. Waste A Moment
3. Around The World
4. Find Me
7. Conversation Piece
8. Eyes On You