Good Ship Rediscovery: Kings Of Leon - Holy Roller Novocaine EP

We all forget about the older stuff from time to time, in our quest to stay up to speed with the latest and greatest. But one should always respect their elders. So don’t forget about them, y’hear?

It's sometimes hard for me to remember, but there was a time when I really, really dug me some Kings of Leon. Before the impeccably-groomed hair, penchant for vests, and copycat tee shirt accusations, this was a band that I thought was pretty dang awesome. When they burst on the scene in the early 2000s as a bunch of country-bred, longhaired kinfolk in plaid shirts, glasses, and beat-up jeans, they felt to me like somethin' really special. Throw in that devil-may-care, moonshine smilin' backwoods sass they started off playing, and yours truly was enthralled.

At the time (circa 2003), the Holy Roller Novocaine EP sounded so, so good to me. To borrow the title of their debut LP, it was so full of youth and young manhood. Their sound was a total breath of fresh air. These were some country-sounding dudes with a penchant for creating nifty little nods to Skynyrd in the guise of songs about getting fucked up and chasin' the ladies all over the place. The songs they came up with were catchy as hell, and back in the day the boys were little spitfires, careening through their songs like little hellions. There's a carefree feel to the EP, and you can hear it from top to bottom in the way the dudes strum the guitars, the way the drums are drummed.

It'd be tough, but if I had to pick a favorite, it'd probably be the sly, salacious "let's be bad" grin of a song that goes by the name of "Molly's Chambers." Perhaps it's because I'm such a sucker for a tantalizing tambourine. Or maybe it's that hot doggin' guitar solo near the end of the song. Or, perhaps, it's just cuz I like that dang feisty little song. I also love the rambunctious rollicking of title track "Holy Roller Novocaine" to pieces, all hip-swaying sexy shimmy with heaps of exuberance. Damned if the songs on the EP are almost like lightning in a bottle - so lively, so white hot, and so electric.

Quite a few of the songs ended up on the debut LP Youth and Young Manhood, but I'm partial to these versions. Just a shade under 16 minutes, the five songs on Holy Roller Novocaine are a-hootin' and a-hollerin' good time. I'm not at all into what the band has been doing for the past few years, but I'm still very much in love with this EP. The gems on Holy Roller Novocaine and remembrances of the early days of the band are how I choose to think of the Tennessee boys. Ah, now those were the good old days.


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  2. Great review...sums up KOL better than any other post I've read. Thanks!


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