Velociraptor! – Kasabian

This band won me over with their last album, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum. It was an album that showed how 5 English lads could make a slow burning but assertive psychedelic record succesfully. For example, check out my favorite off of their last record, “Fire.” The video looks like a badass Tarentino film.

Fire- Kasabian

When I heard the new single, I was a little thrown off. Yeah, it had it’s moments and the title “Switchblade Smiles” sounds cool, but it didn’t pull me in like “Fire” did. It sounded more electronic (even more than their first record) and I didn’t know if I could fully dig it. That and the title of the record is absolutely terrible, but since I’ve been trying to not judge a book by its cover lately (see anything I’ve written about Unknown Mortal Orchestra), I decided to give the record the benefit of the doubt.

The album kicks off with “Let’s Roll Like We Used To.” It starts with some cool horn section that makes it sound like the band is rolling back through town again. . Kasabian has this thing for horn section introductions. Sometimes it can sound like a score for a b-roll movie (in other words, a little bit too cheesy), but most of the time, they pull it off successfully.   While the song has its moments, It’s a lot less heavier than “Underdog” as far as opening songs are and didn’t get my hopes up too much. The next song (and I guess the first “official” single), “Days Are Forgotten” helped a lot. The drum beat at the beginning reminded me of the Stone Roses “Fools Gold”, but unlike that track, this one is anything but mellow. It’s heavier and more catchy than “Switchblade Smiles” and I dig the background vocal melodies a whole lot. The next song, “Goodbye Kiss,” is a great comedown song. From the peaceful slightly melancholy melody helps sets the mood about waiting for a lost love. “La Fee Verte” is probably one of my favorites off the record. There’s not too much I don’t dig about this track. From the Beatles reference to the spacey synth and the lyrics that seem to emphasize soldiering on through bullshit, the song rips and I can’t emphasize how much more this picked up my spirits about this record.

The title track, “Velociraptor,” is a track I can’t make up my mind on. It’s one of those I like parts of but some parts I can’t get into it too much. It sounds like being on speed. Cool stuff happens, but sometimes you blurt out a line or two that will make someone roll their eyes.  “Acid Turkish Bath (Shelter From the Storm)” is one of those tracks with a cheesy horn introduction. I seriously feel like I’ve heard that in 2003’s the Italian Job and the only reason I put up with that movie to begin with is because that babe Charlize Theorn was in it. Luckily, the horns get better and less frequent throughout the track and helps the track get much better as the song progresses. I dig the throwback synth melody on “I Hear Voices.” It’s one of the coolest predominately electronic songs about selling your soul for another hit and getting schizo that I’ve heard in a good bit (maybe the only one I’ve heard). It’s refreshing.

“Re-wired” was definitely written for stadiums. It’s got all the ingredients. A smooth bass line, an energetic but simple chorus that sounds like it was meant to be chanted by the masses, and a catchy bridge breakdown that sounds like it was meant to shake butts.  I wasn’t a fan at first, but after a few listens, I got used to it and actually started to dig it. Sometimes you need one dumb but fun track to keep ya going. “Man of Simple Pleasures” has a cool little guitar fill that made me fall in love with the track to begin with. The chorus lines “I’ve seen your future, so leave me alone in the past” conjures up that attitude of the band that made me dig them to begin with. It pulls me in a bit more than “Re-Wired.” I’ve already said what I think about “Switchblade Smiles,” but thank God the album closes with “Neon Noon.” It’s like the band’s leaving town again and this time, I’m really wondering when they’ll come back and with what.

So all in all, the album is much much better than I thought it would be and a pleasant surprise. Despite not having as many guitars, the band still has the attitude and it’s well represented once again. The album is out on September 16th on RCA. Check out some of the tracks below. Hopefully this dudes will actually tour America for this one.

Days Are Forgotten – Kasabian

La Fee Verte – Kasabian

Re-Wired – Kasabian

2 Responses to “Velociraptor! – Kasabian”
  1. Terri says:

    It’s downright scary how alike we think about music! I have REALLY similar thoughts & feelings about this new Kasabian. Bottom line is, generally good, very good at some points, but not their best. I do also believe West Ryder was their pinnacle, after 2 kick ass early albums. And I’ll go see them live IF they ever get their asses over here, dammit!! I’d actually drop everything I was doing to go see them live, any time, haha.

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