Born and bred in the heart of England itself, Leicester based rockers, Kasabian have been up and around our radios since the early noughties. 5 albums, 2 Live albums and 2 Eps later and here we are, with their latest one cracking up to its fine glory, 48:13 has just popped out on the 9th June. From the overplayed Fire to melancholy Days are Forgotten I’m here to give you a run-down of the latest and greatest, and the average flops of almost a decade of indie serendipity.
5. Velociraptor! (2011)
At last place is Velociraptor. Not sure whether the album name was inspired by the likes of David Attenborough’s natural hand on things, or just originality, but nevertheless this album is a reminder of the lads back in the day, mixed with something new and edgy maybe. The mix of indie-ness and an electronic atmosphere seems to have brought the lads to experiment. Single Switchblade Smiles was technically the first single released, starts off with a buzzing electronic mix alongside the hazy background vocals. It then goes into these crashing drum beats, like a head-banging march, which is consistent within the duration of the track. The rest of the album seems like a mix of soft ballads and less violent tracks to the first. Hit me, harder, I’m getting re-wired! I flip the switch that make you feel electric belts out in the air-punchingly good Re-wired. Similar to a few more tracks on the album, it has this sort of fierceness about it that just says the boys are back.. again.With more well known tracks like Days Are Forgotten and Goodbye Kiss, I still feel this album really didn’t showcase the glory days as much. It essentially is full of mismatched lyrics, to make any grammar nazi cringe. Some may think it’s interesting, and don’t get me wrong it’s not a bad album. But I don’t think its their finest.
4. 48:13 (2014)
Their latest wasn’t really their greatest. Named cleverly after its overall running time, 48:13 is definitely an album developed into its own genre by the Leicester lads. First single eez-eh seems like a mix of their infamous indie rock, with a Chemical Brothers twist. The synth, thick bass and original guitar and studding vocals, is so bad it’s good. Throughout we do get a glimpse of a gentle reminder why we fell in love with them to start with. The have a handful of interludes in to add to the soundtrack, (shiva), (mortis) and (levitation) seem like the stuff you hear at hippy caravan stalls, in a good way? I think their ambient, ghostly sounds will grow on me. My favourite track of this album has to be 7 minute long centrepiece Treat which simply captures the high spirits of all those years back perfectly. Overall I feel this album tries a bit too hard to mesh with its surroundings: trying to be more dancey and housey is just not their thing. Stick to what you’re best at boys; creating damn good music.
3. Kasabian (2004)
Their title album is what set their foot firmly in the UK. Reason is a Treason just gives off a punk rock violation which just simply showcases British music at its finest. The heart thumping drumming throughout and classy vocals by lead Tom Meighan is what makes this track so perfect as the first official single. You are not human if you haven’t heard Club Foot.. everywhere. From adverts to video games, this is a well-known banger, for all the right reasons. The serious guitar twanging alongside the pulsating bass and in-sync vocals ooing and aahing is a class act, which makes you want to sway your head whilst subtly headbang to embrace the sounds. L.S.F and Test Transmission on the other hand brings out more of the softness to their style, which is the cherry to the cake of fulfilling the start of musical history I guess. This hazy blur of a British sound wasn’t a bad start to create something beautiful.
2. Empire (2006)
Empire did better. If dominating the Indie scene was what they were going for, the lads succeeded with this. At this point time, they’re at the height of appreciation, so what they do: carry on going strong. The title track Empire I felt was quite quaint compared to their first album. It has a generic foot-stamping oomph about it, which I’m not sure is a good or a bad thing. Last Trip and Me Plus One has a bit of a blast-to-the-past atmosphere, like their own take on a Beatles-esq shimmy. One this I really did enjoy about this album, was the guitar ballad British Legion. This just added a sort of, lovely sentiment to accompany the rest of the songs on the album. Overall I liked this, and how they tried to suppress being defined by a single genre within guitar bands. There are still tracks on here which I don’t realy suit their style, like techno Stuntman and woosy The Doberman, but hey, carry on doing your thang.
1. West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (2009)
Well done boys, for this well critically acclaimed album, which is the first choice for me. Now this album is what back half a decade ago everyone was talking about. Nominated for a few prizes and awards along the way, this really did bring out the top notch excellence we have all been waiting for. The familiar Fast Fuse notable in popular culture, with its upbeat opening, it is definitely one of the best I have ever heard. This is also the album which has Fire with the swoony reminder of summertime sadness “Shake me into the night and I’m an easy lover..”. Most songs on this album have a rhythmic background to it courtesy of Ian Matthews, which makes it a little more spectacular to what they’ve done before. The whole idea of the album, set in a scarily 19th century West Yorkshire mental illness facility, is interesting. All the singles on this album, including the deeply possessive Underdog, Vlad the Impaler and Where Did All The Love Go? both of which make you just want to bop your body to, like they were made for an upbeat soundtrack to a classic Rocky-esq movie. Kasabian’s rough charm definitely have won me over for this cracker of an epic album.