Written by: TL on 15/09/2011 18:08:16

Some of you guys might know Kasabian already, seeing as the British quartet has a large following in their home country and three albums in the bag already. Me personally, I didn't start getting into them till I found out they were playing Roskilde Festival last year, and while I didn't find their performance there exhilarating when it came around, it did however motivate me to get into some of their more well-known songs. I can't say I got into any of their albums in entirety though, but that's a fact I've aimed to change while listening to the fourth album "Velociraptor!", which comes out tomorrow.

For those not in the know, Kasabian are essentially a brit-rock band, whose core sound stands somewhere between the more straight-forward names in the genre; like Oasis, Arctic Monkeys and The Beatles, and the more experimental ones; like Blur, Kaiser Chiefs and.. Well, The Beatles. What makes Kasabian stand out is how they experiment with taking that core sound in different directions, and how they manage to sound cool and even sort of lazy, even when they're rocking out the hardest (which admittedly isn't all that hard though).

"Velociraptor!" then, is another manifestation of these tendencies. Opener "Let's Roll Just Like We Used To" employs horns among other things, to summon up a Mando Diao-ish feeling of retro psychedelica, and "Days Are Forgotten" is not too different, although the feeling is less dominant here, with the band going for a slightly more catchy, single-type song - which works well by the way. As the album goes on though, Kasabian show their versatility especially on the latter half. "Acid Turkish Bath (Shelter From The Storm)" sounds like some wierd middle-eastern Ennio Morricone jamming with Gorillaz, and the latter of the two come to mind again soon on "Man Of Simple Pleasures" (likely because the bass in the verse is highly similar to that in "Clint Eastwood"). Meanwhile, songs like "Neon Noon", "Switchblade Smiles" and especially "I Hear Voices" play around with quirky electronics that have me thinking of Daft Punk.

Now what really shows that we're dealing with a classy, veteran band here, is how they blend all those things together and still manage to anchor them in their own sound, so they don't sound like they're reaching for things that have no place. You listen feeling like you're enjoying the diversity of Kasabian, rather than shallow attempts to fit gimmicks in for the hell of it. Something that likely has a lot to do with both the elegant song-writing of composer/guitarist/electronics/backing singer Sergio Pizzorno, and the singing of vocalist Tom Meighan, who probably sounds as much like Liam Gallagher (Oasis) as any man alive, while putting up the kind of perfectly laid back swagger that music of this kind needs.

Overall, even the songs on here that have single-quality, mainly "Re-wired" and "Days Are Forgotten" if you ask me, may not have quite as much potential as previous hits like "Underdog" or "Lost Souls Forever". It doesn't matter so much, when the album is such a consistently interesting and relistenable experience as a whole though. It really says something about the average quality when even a slight annoying song like "La Fee Verte", which seems to take lyrical departure in being drunk on absinthe, soon has you singing along reluctantly. So what if "Velociraptor!" is hardly an electrifying listen? Sometimes that's not necessary, especially not when you can keep things classy and interesting, refraining from resorting to any kind of filler.


Download: Days Are Forgotten, Re-wired, Acid Turkish Bath, I Hear Voices
For The Fans Of: Blur, Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys, Oasis
Listen: facebook.com/kasabian

Release Date 16.09.2011
Columbia Records

Switchblade Smiles by kasabian

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