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Now in our ninth calendar year!
PCR #449  (Vol. 9, No. 44) This edition is for the week of October 27--November 2, 2008.

"Changeling"  by Mike Smith
Retro-Ween 2008  by ED Tucker
Kings of Leon: Only By The Night  by Bobby Tyler
Spooky Empire's Ultimate Horror Weekend  by Chris Woods
Zombie Night at the Beach Theater: The Halloween Horror Picture Show, 2008  by John Miller
Halloween Horror Picture Show 2008: A Different View  by C. A. Passinault
Happy Halloween .... Birthday Boy .... Great News Delivered .... Fantasy Football  by Matt Drinnenberg
Anthony .... Chiller Theatre .... Spooky No Longer .... Bond--James Bond .... Sacred No Longer .... It Worked On Bewitched .... No No No No I Don't Sign Them No More .... Passing On .... And The Oscar For 1974 Should Have Gone To...  by Mike Smith
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Kings of Leon: Only By The Night

For those of you who don't know... Kings of Leon is this somewhat new (formed in 2000) group of brothers plus a cousin who get together and form a Southern/Garage Rock foursome. My first taste of Kings of Leon came when I saw them live when I went to see Pearl Jam back in June 12th. I went in there never hearing anything they've done before. I had no clue what to expect. Even though the album which I'm here to review (Only By The Night) had yet to come out at the time, they played a lot of the songs from it that evening. Now... on to the album!

Only By The Night blew me away. I got a look at the band before I listened to any of their stuff. This goes against my "Judge the art before you judge the artist" code, but this is only because I wanted to see who was opening for one of my favorite bands (Pearl Jam). Don't let their haircuts fool you. As hip as they look, these guys sound really good. I'm going to get the bad stuff out of the way first. As amazing as the album is, it starts to fall apart after the second half. This bugs me a lot. The best tracks are numbers one through five. I miss things that were engineered to be played on records. You had to have something kick start the album on track one side two. Give you a reason to flip! Nowadays it's all about making playlist so the order of album tracks isn't important I guess. The opener, "Closer", shows off the vocals (which have improved compared to their previous works) with some power chords on the side. A nice opener. The second track "Crawl" reminded me of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir". Pumping drum beat and bass with delicious distortion. One of those songs that sets the band apart from the trash that floods the radio. Which reminds me. On the way home today I heard Kings Of Leon on the local Mainstream/Trash/Bad Haircut/Nirvana wannabees radiostation. Gave me a smile to know that some good music still exist. Along on track 3 comes their chart topping hit "Sex On Fire". The song has a killer chorus. Vocal will remind you of a better place in music. Back when it had feeling. You'll understand why Pearl Jam had them as opener for the tour. Skip on over to my personal favorite, "Manhattan". This particular song won the band over for me. Has a nice shuffled drum beat which kicks into overdrive around the chorus along with the vocals. The bass throws in the fills when they're needed. The guitar does not cease in its awesomeness.

After the first half, the album then starts to lose its momentum. Since I'm reviewing the album as a whole, I have to take that into consideration. If only those songs I mentioned were spaced out across the whole album, things might have gone better. At times the album sounds a bit overproduced. Might feel that way since I've seen them live first. Killer show where you get lost in all the sound they produce.

The Good
- Nice Genre Blending
- Killer Instrumentals
- Comes together nicely

The Bad
- Loses Momentum Halfway Through
- Overproduced Sounding At Times

Sex On Fire:

My rating -- 3.5 out of 5

--Robert Tyler

This issue's "Music Emporium" is ©2008 by Bobby Tyler.   All graphics this page, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2008 by Nolan B. Canova.