Friday, 2 March 2012

Kasabian: 'Velociraptor' Review

Although I will not pretend to be a massive fan of Kasabian, their lead singer, Tom Meighan, promised to 'change [our] lives' with their new record, 'Velociraptor!'. Therefore, I was considerably sceptical about the claim and doubted if they would surpass their previous efforts.

When any band releases a new album, it focuses greatly on the songs which will lure fans in to book gig tickets. That is where real money is made; after all, each album determines a bands fate for the year ahead. When Kasabian first exploded onto the British music scene, Oasis were still guzzling lager and throwing V-signs to every passer-by. Kasabian followed suit by supporting the Gallaghers live and built a huge fan base, as well as a reputation for head-banging indie rock anthems such as 'Fire', 'Underdog' and 'Empire'. Meighan's heavy and brutal northern accent is reminiscent of the Liam Gallagher’s 'in your face' vocals.

Now on album number four, the band have kept their trademark sound whilst delving a little into songs with more melody and grandeur, and less of that brash attitude that earned them their “laddish” persona in the first place. Apart from acouple of songs, such as the no-nonsense title track, there seems to be an understated feel to the record: it’s definitely less hectic than their previous three efforts.

The enticing opening track “Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To” lays down the foundations for how the album is going to sound, and keeps the band’s psychedelic love pride of place in 'Velociraptor!'. All real great albums should lure you in at the start; however, it is interesting that Producer Dan the Automator, put this track first: other Kasabian albums have opened with a song with a killer riff such as 'Club Foot'. This opening track oozes suave sophistication and could easily be the next Bond theme. In my opinion it’s one of the stand-out highlights of “Velociraptor!”

Other tracks from the album are also impressive. 'Acid Turkish Bath' charms with a Moroccan feel, which has obviously come from Serge Pizzaro's (the songwriter) roots, and ‘Days are Forgotten' opens with a savage war cry, an upbeat tempo and provocative lyrics. The video accompaniment is a work of art in itself, with vibrating lines enveloping the band as they belt out the sing-along tune. The album is riddled with computer glitches and dubbed out bass lines which hark back to the genius of the first and third albums. Kasabian have been known to borrow musical ideals from Primal Scream, namely blending guitar rock with dance tinged electronics and winey, slightly drunken vocals.

Overall, this album shows Kasabian finally making their sound their own and trying a couple of new things whilst sticking to their roots. Although, “Velociraptor!” isn’t as iconic or as explosive and memorable as previous albums but it’s still enjoyable and thoroughly deserved reaching number one in the album charts.

Rating: 7.5/10

Download: 'Days are Forgotten' and 'Rewired'

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