Energetic, Quirky and Fun
Since the early 2000s, British band Kasabian have been churning out energetic slices of swaggering, defiant rock, which has consisted of three main elements: big and boisterous guitars, slinky electronic flourishes and lead singer Tom Meighan’s Liam Gallagher-style vocal delivery with clever musings and nonsensical lyrics about absolutely anything and everything he feels like writing about. The band’s latest release, 2017’s For Crying Out Loud, is no different.
The album opens with “Ill Ray (The King),” which combines an unholy mix of club-banger verses with a Blur-esque chorus. It sounds like two completely different songs within one, yet both parts work well together to the point where one barely even notices. The lead single, “You’re In Love With A Psycho,” comes next, and it features Meighan dryly stating, “You’re in love with a psycho, and there’s nothing you can do about it,” over a sunny, synthed-up groove. “Twentyfourseven” is lo-fi garage rock gold that sounds right off a Kinks album. It definitely is no coincidence that all the influential bands whose work this album resembles are British as well.
The handclap-laden, shoegaze-y “Good Fight” sounds so similar to Gerard Way’s solo track “No Shows” that the two songs could be swapped out for each other with no hiccups. Meanwhile, “Wasted” is a song that could just as easily be on a DJ’s playlist as a rock album. A real gem though is “Comeback Kid,” on which the addition of a horn section turns a big rocker into a whimsical party.
After this, though, come a couple curveballs: “The Party Never Ends” is surprisingly mellow and somber as opposed to the pop radio smash its title would suggest. “Are You Looking For Action?” starts with a creative Daft Punk groove and sax solo but ends up dragging on for entirely too long (eight minutes, to be exact). “All Through the Night” is an acoustic ballad, something that the band didn’t seem to be capable of given the boisterous nature of the previous songs, but it works out pretty well. The album makes its final three statements with “Sixteen Blocks,” which sounds like a lukewarm attempt at grabbing radio attention, “Bless This Acid House,” which cranks up the guitars one more time, and “Put Your Life On It,” which channels The Lumineers.
As a whole, this is a solid, fun and diverse listen. However, Kasabian have allowed their influences to take over their sound so much that For Crying Out Loud almost seems like a compilation album at times rather than an original work. But that’s not a crime, and the songs are certainly enjoyable, so this record passes the test.