Kasabian‘s ‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum’ was an album of simply epic proportions. One which critics (myself included) ate up, one which the ravenous for hook public adored and one which cemented them thoroughly at the centre of British mainstream rock ‘n’ roll. The next album ‘Velociraptor!’ then was always going to be a challenge, a challenge which by the evidence I have heard they have taken up beaten and then just for good measure beaten again.
This album though is a thoroughly different beast to ‘West Ryder…’ in the fact that in musical sound, it is much more similar to their earlier work. The album manages to plunge from the dizzying heights and silliness of title track ‘Velociraptor!’ to the solemn lyrics of ‘Goodbye Kiss’ a song which lead singer Tom Meighan has already singled out as a number people are going to fall in love to, get married to, etc. Bless.
The first single to hit the airwaves is in my opinion the strongest track on the album; dripping with the trademark production of Serge Pizzorno, it came out as a warning sign of what to come, as this song is huge, so the album…well, you my drift. The pumping beats and brilliant synth rotation in ‘Switchblade Smile’ (video here) will be enough to get your attention, but the lyrics of “can you feel it coming / can you feel it coming” just add to the songs pure adrenalin rush.
‘Days Are Forgotten’ is slinky, sexy and unashamedly cool (watch the video below). You may already be familiar with it from just about every advertising campaign around. But who can blame people for wanting this track on their product? It’s trademark Kasabian: a track with a chorus so simple, yet one which is layered with undulating guitars and the thumping bass which you become accustomed to on a Kasabian record.
As a record ‘Velociraptor!’ listens perfectly. It has changes of pace, it has excitement, and it has romance and a swagger which only Kasabian can really get away with. May they long continue to get away with it, as albums this good can only come about when you are truly confident in your abilities as musicians. And when you listen to this you won’t find it hard to gauge how good these Midlands boys know they are.
‘Velociraptor!’, the new album from Kasabian, will be released on 19 September (next Monday) on Columbia. The band will be touring the UK this winter; all the details are here.