Often, bands are criticised for going in a new direction. There’s no doubt it is admirable of the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and, now, Kasabian to effectively risk their already strong fan base and go for something all but completely new. If you were expecting more of the same in terms of previous albums, you will struggle not be disappointed. The more open-minded Kasabian and music fans in general will be pleasantly surprised as to the success of this new direction.
“(shiva)” can be accurately described as a cinematic introduction to the album, an instrumental that sounds a little bit like Bowie and a little bit like Star Wars, more of the latter. An intriguing opener. But then, “bumblebee” arrives. An enthusiastic and booming anthem that features a physched-up Tom repeating a refrain of “yeah!” This song is a mix of psychedelia and lad-rock, references to ecstasy can be an explanation for the extra “e” in the title of the song. This song was made for Victoria Park and, later on in the year, Glastonbury. A definite second single from the album.
“stevie” mixes menacing, orchestral bass riffs with an assertive beat. It gives the feeling of a political reference too, the London Riots perhaps with lyrics such as “If you show us what we can’t have, what do you expect when we take it back from you?” “(mortis)” is a stop-gap to catch our breath, even if it’s slightly creepy. We haven’t got long, through, “doomsday”, another personal favourite, comes in with powerful riffs and more cliches of “waiting to get pissed.” It sounds a little like The Stone Roses and The Prodigy combined, it’s not a world-beater, but it’s pretty good and will be another exceptional addition to their backlog of songs.
“treat” is exactly what Serge mentioned as “a sum of it’s parts.” “glass” is next. A mix of mournful and melancholic, it features a streetwise youth’s spoken words or following your dreams cliches and semi-political arguments that are neither rebellious or original, but they are well put together. “explodes” is another slightly provocative song that tells us, “You would rather die on your feet than live on your knees.” It doesn’t really get much more revolutionary and is a slight low-point. “levitation” is another brief instrumental, another hint of psychedelia. “clouds” takes some hippy lyrics, similar to The Beatles and mixes them with a more conventional anthem. Some may like the mix, some not.
The lead single, “eez-eh” is next, an already fan favourite that I, personally, can’t wait to hear live. It encapsulates the sort of stuff you discuss with your mates when you come home in the early hours with bouncing riffs and it is sure to be a huge one this summer. “bow” contrasts verses and choruses like classic Kasabian. The lyrics aren’t half bad too; an acoustic/electro mellow tune. Finally, “s.p.s” is no “L.S.F,” but it is a good close to the album in it’s own right, even if the lyrics ironically say otherwise.
The band won’t build a set based on this album like “AM” and Finsbury Park, but there are a few highlights that will be added to older favourites which make for a very interesting debate pre and post-Victoria Park as to which are the lucky few.