Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan boastfully stated a few months back that the group’s upcoming album “will change people’s lives.” Is this a terribly overstated notion about his “band of pack hunters” and their latest endeavor? Probably.
Polished and more straightforward, Velociraptor! hits harder than the band’s previous outings. With more than a decade of experience behind them, Kasabian have moved from newborn indie-sensation to mammoth-sized beast of musical aptitude. Meighan, along with guitarist Sergio Pizzorno, have spent 12 years together as Kasabian, and it shows. Four studio albums later, these boys have crafted a record that fully realizes the potential hinted at in past releases.
For the avid Kasabian listener, Velociraptor! aims to please with familiar tendencies such as powerful hooks and striking ill-tempered vocals while subtly introducing smooth textures and beaten-down tempos, namely on cuts “I Hear Voices” and “Neon Noon.” Those flourishes are none other than the signature of producer Dan the Automator, whose work on Gorillaz’ debut album catapulted the then-unknown group to widespread acclaim. On Velociraptor!, the Automator aims to do the same; amping up the indie. And the rock.
The title track delivers a loaded punch (or, in this case, bite) with a tongue-in-cheek chorus over a rollicking, irresistible rhythm: “Velociraptor/He’s gonna find ya/He’s gonna kill ya/He’s gonna eat ya,” Meighan snarls. Suddenly, the exclamation mark becomes warranted. Album highlight “Switchblade Smiles” features a heavy-on-bass thumping groove, while “Re-Wired” dials in disco as the Kasabian frontman yelps, “Hit me!/Harder!/I’m gettin’ re-wired/I hit the switch to make you feel electric.”
With Velociraptor!, the English rockers have moved into a more accessible arena, reaching out to new listeners with rippling guitar statements and assertive vocals, all while rewarding an ever-devout fanbase. Hot off the heels of West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, a contender for the 2009 Mercury Prize, Kasabian have delivered a fierce set of new tunes.
Kasabian – Velociraptor! Tracklist:
- “Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To”
- “Days Are Forgotten”
- “Goodbye Kiss”
- “La Fée Verte”
- “Acid Turkish Bath (Shelter from the Storm)”
- “I Hear Voices”
- “Man of Simple Pleasures”
- “Switchblade Smiles”
- “Neon Noon”