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Kasabian: Velociraptor!

  • Kasabian
  • Alternative & Indie
  • Out now
  • RCA, Columbia
  • Everywhere
reviewed by
Haisam Awad
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Kasabian: Velociraptor!

Kasabian have slowly but surely turned from
every semi-rebellious teen-aged hipster’s second favourite indie band to some
sort of organic freak of nature. They still bare the rock band prerequisite lout-chic image as good as
anyone in the game, but their sound has developed in ways that maybe even they
could have known nothing of. However, their latest album Velociraptor! isn’t the peak of that; it’s more like the first

The group’s fourth studio album opens not
with a bang; but with the effortless ‘Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To’, which
is carried by nothing more than a catchy base line. ‘Days Are Forgotten’ is a
reminder of the band’s indie-rock soul, and almost sounds like a cheap Kasabian
rip-off. Later on in the album, ‘Re-Wired’ and ‘Acid Turkish Bath’ will probably
receive the most airtime on the radio; a safe guitar-base-drums setup and
catchy sing-along chorus, though parts of the latter sound like Led Zeppelin’s

‘Goodbye Kiss’ has a chorus that is as
dramatically and playfully glum as a 60s doo-wop ballad and is followed by ‘La
Fee Verte,’ which is Beatles-esque in vocals and in lyrics like ‘I see Lucy in the
sky telling me I’m high’. From one extreme to another, the title track
‘Velociraptor!’ is a fast guitar-fuelled electro-rap trip.

‘I Hear Voices’ doesn’t quite hit the mark
and sounds like a soft synth-pop remix. ‘Man of Simple Pleasures’ is one of the
more introspective tracks, but is left standing in the dust of ‘Switchblade
Smiles’; another sinister electro-fused number. The album ends on ‘Neon Noon,’
which – living up to its name – is a lazy afternoon getaway highlighted with harmonized
keyboard swishes.

It’s obvious that the group have deliberately
tried to manoeuvre away from the Brit-rock arena anthems that brought them
early success, and might have continued to do so for at least another album or
two before they hit the inevitable dead-end. What this has translated into is a
much more lucid body of work.

However, four albums in, US fame still
eludes them. In fact, their albums have fared worse over the years on the
Billboard 200. Velociraptor! is even less
likely to garner recognition in America; more so than their previous
easy-to-pigeonhole releases. It’s a schizophrenic album where almost every song
takes a different direction, but that only really adds to what is a fascinating
package of music.

Like This? Try

Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand, Klaxons

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