Sometimes radio scares me. I like pop music, from Rihanna to the Beach Boys and every trend between. A good pop song is a beautiful thing. But the radio historically has also been home to the legends of rock: Elvis Presley, James Brown and the Beatles all hold multiple airplay records and awards. Today, the rock and roll attitude is completely absent from radio.
Which begs the question: twenty years from now (hell, ten years from now) who will be regarded as the preeminent rock bands of the 2000s and 2010s? Cold Play, The Frey and Nickleback have been some of the most successful contemporary rock acts in recent years, god help us.
Who then will carry forth the bad ass torch of rock? Who should you tell your kids you listened to back in the day? Wonder no more.
4. Kings of Leon
Best Albums: “Aha Shake Heartbreak,” “Youth and Young Manhood”
Best Tracks: Trani, Kings of the Rodeo, Joe’s Head
How they so cool? “You talkin bout my baby? I could flip you upside down and I could mop this place,” taunts KOL front man Caleb Followill on 2007 Because of the Times track “My Party.” Despite a two album slump and an unavoidable corporate tweak to their image, the Kings came out of the gate strong with a pair of southern garage rock classics, followed by the more ambitious, arena-rock 2007 release. KOL boozes to the point of excess, smokes with the best of them and have set the marriage bar at Super Model. Just when you think this band might not be bad ass, that the sudden fame brought on by the bands 2008 breakthrough “Sex On Fire” may have ruined their rock cred for good, the Followills come up with gems like this: (to a live audience) “For all the people out there that don’t give a shit about us, I want you to know…I understand. But we worked fucking hard to get here so anyone who has anything to say, fuck you. We’re the god damned Kings of Leon.”