Saturday, 10 September 2011

Review: Kasabian - Velociraptor!

 Back in 2004, rock and roll managed to come bouncing back to the forefront of mainstream musical taste due to the numerous releases of new albums from various groups of slick, sophisticated groups influenced by the likes of The Stone Roses, Oasis and Blur. One of the first groups who started this modern craze was Vegas' The Killers, who stunned the world with their unique style of synth laden indie rock. However, in the UK, another group of lads from Leicestershire were starting out with a similar idea, but were far more experimental and essentially deranged. These guys were known collectively as Kasabian, and since releasing their self-titled debut, the public seem to have unexpectedly fallen in love with them.
 Now they return with new album Velociraptor! with another captivating and frequently bizarre collection of indie rock, which is fused with their brand of obscure and unsettling yet gripping electronic and synthesized beats and backdrops.
 On Velociraptor! the band, most likely under the guidance of producer Dan the Automator, put more emphasis on the digital synth effects, which become very complex and increasingly experimental at times. Various tracks demonstrate this, I Hear Voices is quite a notable example. While this shows off Kasabian's sense of dynamism and creativity, it means the general rock music effect is fairly simple and less excitement is stirred in that field of music in the album, which is a little sad, particularly with the feelings of anticipation and awe that many feel when hearing the opening riffs to 2009's single Underdog from West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum.
 Despite all the creativity found on this album another point is the lack of change heard from West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, while 2009's release sounded like a mixture between the first two releases from the band, Velociraptor! feels more like West Ryder Pauper Part 2.
 However, the album has plenty of strengths. While the guitar work may not be its most powerful, it can certainly be argued that Ian Matthews' drumming is done with some intense force, whilst Tom Meighan's vocals  bursting with attitude and energy also contain a real sense of raw power. Also, the synthesizer effects are very enjoyable and combined with the drumming are great to move to, wether it gets you up on your feet doing some kind of weird dancing, or just makes you want to headbang. Besides this, the synthesizers also have the cool effect of being able to build up and anticipate listeners before then bursting into an insane electronic indie tune. This is best seen on Switchblade Smiles, a song that was the perfect candidate to made into the album's first single.
 So, Velociraptor! is not exactly the freshest album from Kasabian, however it's a great place to look if you want expand on your collection of slick and obscure electronic indie rock and roll.

 Kasabian's Velociraptor! is out on the 16th September via RCA Records. The singles for Days Are Forgotten is out on the 11th. The band will tour the UK from November to December

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