New year, new ridiculous rock t-shirt scandal. Just as the music community was recovering from the Kurt Cobain vs. Forever 21 controversy, California indie rockers No Age have accused Kings of Leon of ripping off one of their t-shirt designs. In a Blogspot post entitled “Wait, what?” No Age visually lay out the claim, simply posting their shirt alongside KoL’s version, underscored with the dry “Lookin’ good, Kings of Originality.” They also tweeted, “Imitation is the highest form of what, now?”
The shirts do share similarities. However, unlike Forever 21’s blatant “tribute” to Cobain’s hand-drawn ode to the band Flipper (and their logo), it’s unclear whether No Age can really declare much creative custody here. No Age are far from the first entity to put a rainbow color scheme and capital letters on a shirt, and as the AV Club points out, both Diplo and Bloc Party have played with similar design schemes on their own merchandise without No Age taking (too much) issue.
In any case, No Age have thrown down the gauntlet. Will KoL take on the challenge? Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold has already made it clear how he feels about the issue. “THEY ARE THE WORST,” he tweeted to No Age (though he later deleted the entry). We await the rest of the rock community’s verdict.