Remember when Kings of Leon were good? You know, before they went all U2 and started soundtracking the teary slow motion bits on X Factor auditions? Well, Iguana Death Cult do. And they’re here to fill the southern-fried void the Followills left behind. Not only do they possess one of the best band names in history, they’ve got the chops to match. Rotterdam doesn’t have quite the same ring of authenticity as Nashville, Tennessee, but they taste as good as the real thing.
‘Prelude’ sets the tone, reverb-laded whistling and gently-plucked guitar invoking the opening scenes of a Sunday afternoon Western as John Wayne rocks up in some dusty back-end town. Just as you’re settling into the mood, it’s ripped apart with a barn-storming stomp that Johnny Cash would be proud of.
Singer Jeroen Reek has got the indecipherable drawl down to a tee. You can’t really tell what he’s singing half the time - at one point, it may or may not be “I was making fun of Cyclops”. But with titles including ‘Carnal Beat Machine’, ‘Spasms’ and ‘Nude Casino’, you get a pretty good idea of where his mind’s at.
It’s hard to imagine this band ever destined for the arenas. Their brand of ramshackle new wave barn rock belongs in a sweaty back room with sawdust on the floor and spittoon in the corner. And there’s nothing wrong with that.