The weekend in rock: The Kings of Leon keep the Southern rocking in the family

By and

It’s not often that a modern band can rival its legendary influences, but for Kings of Leon it’s all in the mustaches.

The dawn of the new millennium gave way to the rise of the hackneyed-throwback. The Killers and The Bravery have not-so-bravely killed the good name of new-wave music, Bowling for Soup has further bastardized punk rock and even hardcore is going soft-core in the mascara-stained hands of Atreyu and From Autumn to Ashes.

But the Kings of Leon hack nothing in their modern update of beloved classic southern rock.

And with good reason-The Kings are actually from the South, and they actually rock.

Born and bred in Nashville, Tenn., the King’s backwoods-brotherhood (literally: The band is composed of four relatives-brothers and one cousin-that share a father/uncle in a Bible Belt Evangelical preacher) simmers in a Southern-fried authenticity that emits equal aromas of Nugent, Skynrd and Presley and Stills.

A pungent scent if mixed incorrectly, no doubt, The Kings’ latest offering, Aha Shake Heartbreak, passes the smell test with flying cologne.

And it does it with ’70s-porn-star, Wrangler-wearing and facial-hair-boasting style to boot.

Careening from Deliverance-heavy riffing to jangly, near-indie guitar drones, Aha shakes down-home rock’n’roll for the entire human race. Mic-slinger Caleb Followill destroys all modern rock typecasts as he moans through ballads of infidelity, alcohol, ladies-of-the-night and murder, cast in a warm, family-friendly glow somehow devoid of traditional family values.

All the while, The Kings’ rhythm section stays both royal and consistent. Nathan and Jared Followill craft swing-set rhythms of toe-tapping ’70s rock that’ll have even the most cold-bundled of Yankees and image-conscious hipsters taking it off and shaking it ’round.

Seeing as God has graced us Utahn’s with unending freeze and frost, The Kings’ rock show at In The Venue this Friday promises to inject some soulful warmth into our ice-cold conservative souls. Be there at 7 p.m. with $20 in your back pocket or forever be damned to eternal winter.

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