Album Reviews

Kasabian – Kasabian

(Columbia) UK release date: 6 September 2004


Through a hefty schedule of touring and playing gigs and festivals, Kasabian have emerged as one of the hottest bands to make the big time this Summer with plaudits aplenty, and rightly so.

As you may hope to expect from a band named after murderer Charles Mansion’s getaway driver their sound is gritty, edgy and highly politicised punky electro. The pounding beats and electrifying white noise of opening track Club Foot with its driven, narcissistic drawling delivery of singer Tom’s vocals are the first signs that this band is a little bit special – and don’t they know it.

There are similarities between this Leicester mob and The Cooper Temple Clause but their sound and energy harks back to another time and another place: the arrogantly bloated and brilliant Madchester scene a hundred miles or so further up the M6.

Hear throughout the bass heavy indie-dance of the Happy Mondays and Stone Roses, the swagger of Liam and the ingenuity of Scots Primal Scream.

Second track Processed Beats carries on in the same vein – honest and aggressive with synths, guitars, pumped-up percussion and perfectly unpolished layered over one another. Reason Is Treason morphs easily into ID, which starts off with a spiky-edged synth before enveloping in to a warm post-trip slow burner of a song, in turn fading in to interlude Orange, which layers angelic gospel voices over the rhythmic war dance of a drum.

Then, festival favourite LSF (Lost Souls Forever), a raucous post-modern Primal Scream trip through uncouth youth. Gillespie would be proud.

Test Transmission is all space rock and backward guitar while closer U Boat is mesmerising. Moody and riotously maudlin, swirling electro-synth melodies are enveloped in a thrashing, pummeling Stone Roses-style beat.

This is more than a collection of singles, this is an album of balance – each song giving way to the next, druggy arrogance clashes with a youthful innocence, driving guitar, invention and inspiration building on imitation.

Anthemic from start to finish, it looks like Kasabian may just get away with it. One of the albums of the summer.


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More on Kasabian
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Kasabian @ O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
Kasabian – 48:13
Kasabian – Velociraptor!
Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum