With the fragrant aroma of leather and cigarette smoke, Caleb Followill and his gang of brothers (and one cousin) sauntered onto the stage at Warehouse Live to testify. The Tennessee gentlemen kicked off Saturday night’s performance with “Charmer”, the lead shrieker off the new record “Because of the Times”. With its Blur-influenced guitar line and the manic wind-shear off something from The Pixies’ “Doolittle”, it’s a pure shot of nervous adrenaline and booze.
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Anyone still trying to lump these guys into the quasi-Strokes ghetto, or still labeling them southern rock would be hard pressed to find evidence after these past two albums. Sure their first record had them sporting hirsute faces and doing Skynyrd lycks, but they have grown musically and physically before our eyes since. The median ages on their 2002 debut were barely nineteen in some cases, even though they looked like Stillwater from “Almost Famous”. The touring grind and the ever-inviting temptations of smoky-eyed girlies in scuffed cowboy boots wielding full bottles of the devil’s lubricant, the sound was inevitably going to turn a bit jaded. But they make jaded and heartbroken sound so cool. - Craig Hlavaty