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Kings Of Leon - Walls album review

The arena-fillers play it safe

The cover art to Kings Of Leon's Walls

In the 13 years since the Followill clan – brothers Caleb, Jared and Nathan, and cousin Matthew – first touched down in the UK amid a flurry of hair and hype, the quartet have gone on to be a planet-shagging behemoth, with all that that entails: model girlfriends, the kind of extracurricular activities that mere mortals can only dream of and a very public meltdown have all been ticked off with an almost casual ease.

Maturity and domestic stability sees them consolidate their position as an arena draw with this, their seventh album. Consequently, their lyrical outlook is internalised, though as evidenced by the rollicking Waste A Moment and the earworm that is Over, their ability to craft hook-laden numbers remains undiminished.

Alas, by front-loading the album with the kind of numbers U2 would be proud of – witness ReverendWalls grinds to a halt in tedious balladry, rather than scaling new heights.

Julian Marszalek is the former Reviews Editor of The Blues Magazine. He has written about music for Music365, Yahoo! Music, The Quietus, The Guardian, NME and Shindig! among many others. As the Deputy Online News Editor at Xfm he revealed exclusively that Nick Cave’s second novel was on the way. During his two-decade career, he’s interviewed the likes of Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne, and has been ranted at by John Lydon. He’s also in the select group of music journalists to have actually got on with Lou Reed. Marszalek taught music journalism at Middlesex University and co-ran the genre-fluid Stow Festival in Walthamstow for six years.