Kings of Leon want you to know they're a really cool rock band. How cool? On the track Don't Matter, Caleb Followill croons with try-hard punk bravado, "I can fuck or I can fight. It don't matter to me."
A Stooges influence is palpable on the band's sixth album, their first since their 2011 hiatus, and there's a wannabe Queens of the Stone Age vibe penetrating the fretwork. Bassist Jared Followill said he rubbed his wrists raw from down-stroking so hard.
Like the too-slick guitar solos and catchy (but totally ordinary) melodies, Caleb's lyrical chops haven't evolved. Case in point: "I walk a mile in your shoes and now I'm a mile away and I've got your shoes."
All things considered, Mechanical Bull is adequate arena rock, a collection of songs fit to play on Guitar Hero. Perhaps it's not a coincidence that the franchise has also been on hold since 2011.
Top track: Supersoaker