The Kings of Leon are the sons of a preacher and their debut album, Youth and Young Manhood, is their hymnal of rock & roll redemption. The brothers (and one cousin) Followill work with producer Ethan Johns for a rattling country-rock hootenanny, basically reviving the deep-fried Southern rock found on the band's first EP, Holy Roller Novocaine. Four of the five cuts featured in that set are included for a second time and they're nicely seeded in all their honky tonk rowdiness among the band's seven brand new tracks. Launching things off is the swanky "Red Morning Light." Guitarist Matthew Followill immediately establishes himself as a skilled musician, complementing his cousin Caleb's coarse-grained drawl. "Joe's Head" is the closest the band comes to sounding like Tom Petty and Gregg Allman. "Spiral Staircase" finds Caleb causing trouble Bon Scott-style, while the band hints at some shenanigan-like behavior with some psychedelic pop. Youth and Young Manhood isn't sonically adventurous, but in the new-millennium pop realm, some greasy licks sure sound good.
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AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson