Kings of Leon

Mechanical Bull (RCA)

ACL Music Fest 2013 Saturday Reviews

Kings of Leon

Mechanical Bull (RCA)

Now rolling into their second musical decade, the Followill clan has perfected its brand of Southern rock to the point of hook-laden arena anthems. Yet as 2010's Come Around Sundown demonstrated, they also revel in unraveling radio expectations even as they exploit them. The Nashville quartet's sixth LP finds the sweet spot. Unloaded at the outset, "Supersoaker" and the gutter-swaggering "Rock City" roar against the raw rip of "Don't Matter," melding the impulsive energy of Youth & Young Manhood with the bombast of Aha Shake Heartbreak and commercial appeal of Only By the Night. That's when the U2 pull of "Beautiful War" calms the tempest, then swells into the melodic coil of "Temple." Despite gritty boogie on "Family Tree" and the chiming "Last Mile Home" lapsing a bit too playfully, "Tonight" howls with expectant ache. Mechanical Bull kicks up a tightly controlled disc that still leaves enough roots unpolished. (8pm, Samsung Galaxy stage)

***.5

READ MORE
More Kings of Leon
Phases & Stages
Kings of Leon
Only by the Night (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Oct. 24, 2008

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Shearwater
Jet Plane and Oxbow (Record Review)

Abby Johnston, Feb. 12, 2016

Texas Platters
Matthew Logan Vasquez
Solicitor Returns (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, Feb. 12, 2016

More by Doug Freeman
The Cost of Living
The Cost of Living
Delbert McClinton's new lease on life

Feb. 12, 2016

Songwriter Symposium Launches Music Legends HOF
Songwriter Symposium Launches Music Legends HOF
Austin Songwriters Group inducted Steven Fromholz and more

Jan. 20, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Kings of Leon, ACL Fest 2013

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, SXSW Daily Edition

Our latest from SXSW 2016, delivered March 11-20

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways