Kings of Leon

Initially embraced as "the Southern Strokes" for their resurrection and reinvention of Dixie-styled rock & roll, Kings of Leon steadily morphed themselves into an experimental rock outfit during the 2000s. The Tennessee-bred quartet debuted in 2003 with the Holy Roller Novocaine EP, whose blend of raw, unpolished boogie rock was further explored on their debut full-length, Youth & Young Manhood. Such revivalist music was matched by a similarly revivalist appearance -- including long hair, mustaches, and tight-fitting denim -- and Kings of Leon experienced immediate popularity in the U.K. (where they would later enjoy platinum album sales, despite an initially lukewarm reception at home). As the band explored different sonic textures with subsequent releases, most notably on 2007's Because of the Times and 2008's Only by the Night, those tenuous links to the Strokes were finally dissolved.

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