Wednesday, October 07, 2009

SOTW - Sex on Fire - Kings of Leon

The Kings of Leon video is "disabled by request" so we shan't plug them and their silly record label. Pah.

This week’s SOTW has been a slow-burner, as on its release I pretty much refused to listen to it. I think this band is overrated, and I thought the song was too silly. But ever since that bloke Jamie performed it for his “first” audition on X factor, Kings of Leon’s Sex On Fire has been in my head all week. No one is more acutely aware of this than Paddington, who has had to endure me wailing the one thing that makes this song brilliant– “Yeeeeewwwwwww-ooooooooooooo, uuurrr sexxx iz on frrrrrrrrrrrr!”

It’s not so much a lyric as a primal scream, or at the very least, a muddle of the English language which takes some heavy cues from Lolcats.

Ever since Molly's Chambers came out I've remained unconvinced by Kings of Leon. Caleb’s [real name, Anthony what’s with the middle-name thing? If people knew me by my middle name I’d have an entirely made-up name that’s a composite of my mum’s maiden name and her actual name. Which, by the way, I actually think is quite cool. But KOL don’t even have interesting middle names. Huff ?*?] Sorry, I’ll start that again...

Caleb’s gravelly whine has never done much for me, and the opening of this song is about as generic as radio-friendly rock comes. It has a chugging bass, a crunchy guitar, a plodding drum beat, a half-hearted strum thrown in, and that predictable progression of quiet and moody to BIG AND LOUD, usually employed by half-arsed rock groups to signify depth of feeling. [Unless you’re The Pixies, whereupon it actually represents true genius and greatness.] But gollygeewhiz if that ain’t the damned catchiest chorus ever.

By now everyone’s probably familiar with the story about how this song was called Set Us On Fire or something until some sleepy sound engineer misheard it as Sex Is On Fire. Yeah, right. If the lyric to this song was actually 'set us on fire', it would sound like any other U2-cum-Killers wannabe stadium rock track of stinky cheesiness. But the fact it’s actually 'Sex Is On Fire' elevates it into dizzy new heights of silliness. Suddenly this song about the euphoric, intense, violently unmanageable flush of new love/lust feels immediate and impulsive, and it’s that ridiculous OTT-ness that gives it such potency, enhanced by the fact Caleb-Anthony insists on delivering it as if he means every word . It’s a joyful, noisy, hand-clapper of a choon and I love it.

All together now...

Yeeeeewwwwwww-ooooooooooooo, *grrr* uuurrr sexx iz on frrrrrrr!


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