Posted by Anthony - 30th September 2011
A velociraptor was a small, fast, flesh eating dinosaur which featured in the film Jurassic Park, causing havoc in the kitchen scene. Will Kasabian's fourth album go the way of the dinosaurs or does it have the strength to survive? We will now find out...
This is a milestone album for Kasabian and the best way to understand why is firstly to run through it track by track:
Let's Roll Like We Used To The first track starts with a large gong being struck (memories of J Arthur Rank films) and moves on to an Oriental sound. The song develops into a large chorus. This could be the title song for the next James Bond movie. A big dramatic opener.
Days Are Forgotten One of the album highlights. Some Arabian style vocals open the track – weird. It quickly develops into a great song with a fantastic chorus. Brilliant.
Goodbye Kiss A light, breezy rocker reminiscent of the Liverpudlian band Cast. Very melodic with a lush string backing courtesy of The London Metropolitan Orchestra, no less.
La Fee Verte A very interesting track which is heavily influenced by psychedelic era Beatles, even mentioning "Lucy in the sky" in the lyrics. Another highlight.
Velociraptor! The title track is a high energy romp which for some reason reminds me of Ebeneezer Goode, although the tune is different. This is great fun and you will end up walking down the street singing it to yourself – just be prepared for a few strange looks.
Acid Turkish Bath (Shelter From The Storm) Opening guitar chords lead into an Eastern sounding track which builds in epic proportions. This is not helped by some very strange vocals in the background. The song plays out with attractive ethereal voices.
I Hear Voices A slice of pure 80s electro pop. A pleasant song but ultimately rather repetitive. Not the strongest on the album.
Re-wired Another electro track but here driven along by the drums. A raucous chorus helps to lift things and there is a nice synth playout.
Man Of Simple Pleasures A very Arabian sounding opening. I thought this was going to morph into Walk Like An Egyptian! It has a brilliant anthemic chorus and is yet another album highlight.
Switchblade Smiles Some Pink Floyd style synth runs underpin this track. It soon bursts into life with ferocious drumming a la John Bonham and perhaps not surprisingly reminds me of Immigrant Song. Once again we have some strange background vocals. Good chorus.
Neon Noon The closer is another Beatles era sound. Very melodic and punctuated by 80s electro pop. More Pink Floyd sounding synth music towards the end.
Clearly the band has been influenced by the music of the past, notably the music the band members would have heard when they were growing up i.e. The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, electro pop and big beat, to name the obvious ones. The test of quality is whether the result is simply copy cat music or rather is a meld of these influences with the band's own ideas and sound. No worries on that score as Kasabian pass with flying colours, producing 11 strong songs, and some very diverse music, which they have made their own, aided by producer Dan the Automator; and all carried off with their usual swagger.
This release is an impressive album full of commercial sounding music with great choruses, showing the band exploring new horizons and not simply putting out more of the same. That they do so with such great aplomb is a considerable achievement. This should banish once and for all the idea that Kasabian are the heirs to Oasis, a band that did not explore such a variety of musical avenues.
Undoubtedly this is Kasabian's best album to date and should secure their future. I can't wait to see them perform some of these tracks live.