Kings of Leon continue their run of quality releases with another hard-rock driven offering from RCA, the exemplary Only By the Night. Following in the footsteps of 2007’s Because of the Times, Only By the Night may be a very quick transitional project for the Followill brothers; but make no mistake, it’s full of the same punch and punk inspired glory that launched the group’s career on 2003’s Youth & Young Manhood.
Beginning with a circular, looping guitar drone, "Closer" sets the tone immediately, launching the guitar attack of guitarist Matthew Followill alongside the scratchy, guttural singing of front man Caleb Followill. Bassist Jared Followill’s throbbing lines jump to the front of the sound mix on "Use Somebody."
It seems that the Kings’ opening slot for U2 was no fluke, as Only By the Night’s magisterially epic vibration hits a profound peak on "Manhattan." Yet, the disc could be better described as the kissing cousin to 2005’s Aha Shake Heartbreak. The fevered Zeppelin stomp of "Crawl" and shifted overdrive inside of "Sex On Fire" closely resemble the polished strut of "Slow Night, So Long" and double entendres linking "Taper Jean Girl."
Produced by Angelo Petraglia and Jacquire King, Only By the Night seeks to scratch the surface of a sweaty, pulsating night inside a pummeling punk rock club with Caleb, Jared and Matthew Followill. The recording achieves much more, connecting the Kings Of Leon’s uncanny knack for delivering humming, soaring choruses and memorable hooks, tempting the vast citizenship across the generational divide to join in their sonic revolution.
Only By the Night is out now on RCA.