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Tennessee Tornadoes

Preachers' kids Kings of Leon want none of the sounds-like name game

All of which brings us to Youth and Young Manhood, which includes new versions of several Holy Roller Novocainetracks and more than delivers on the promise of that EP. Sleazy rockers like "Red Morning Light" and "Spiral Staircase" commingle with the up-tempo "Happy Alone," the ballad "Dusty" and "Trani," their stab at a "Walk on the Wild Side"-type urban chronicle. Ryan Adams producer Ethan Johns is again at the control board, and the single-monikered Angelo, the unofficial fifth King, contributes a few lyrics and guitar licks.

Jared says that the album title wasn't just thrown out there, either, but is part of a bigger picture and longer career. "We want to be like the Rolling Stones, where you can hear the differences and the sound changes from their early records through their later ones," he says. "We want people to look back on this one years from now and go, 'Wow, they were really young then!' "

Already they've got a number of songs ready for the next record with names such as "Soft," "Pistol Fire" and "A-Ha Shake Heartbreak" that they occasionally play on stage -- but only when they're fairly sure that tapers aren't lurking. Not that anyone could make out the words to copy, coming from the famously slurry-voiced Caleb.

1974 is not just a year gone by for the Kings of Leon. It's a way of life.
1974 is not just a year gone by for the Kings of Leon. It's a way of life.

But for all the intensity and older-than-their-years skill of Youth and Young Manhood, the Kings of Leon say they are still honing their live show and feeling out each other's strengths and weaknesses in a live situation.

"I think we're kind of like a gang when we get up there on stage, a street gang. We go into that mode," Jared says. "We'll fucking just rock out together and have fun, but we'll also get into fights."

Though this tour stop will be the first time that the Kings of Leon have played Houston, the Followill brothers have been to the city before with their father on a preaching gig. Jared was too young to remember where they stopped, and is equally unsure about what his parents -- especially his father -- think of their secular music and Holy Roller Novocaine, in particular.

"Um…I haven't really heard any reaction from them," he says slowly. "But I don't think they can understand what we say anyway. We really have lyrics that are horrible."

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