Living the rock ‘n’ roll celluloid dream

Blustering with faux swagger Kasabian re-enter our lives from stage right. And it’s reassuring to find them still inhabiting the same ramped-up indie rock that drips with drama as they singularly focus on living the rock ‘n’ roll celluloid dream.

‘Velociraptor!’ is their fourth album and sees them knowingly hopping about like well-drilled musical magpies. As a band they remain obsessed with rock’s canon and inevitably we find them firing out songs that arc beneath the shadows of the Stones, Beatles, Primal Scream and, er, The Ting Tings!

But don’t be deterred, since these eleven tracks comprise a very entertaining album. Tom and Serge have become experts at abducting attention, and in the same way one suspends their belief to fully enjoy a play or a farfetched film, if you play along with ‘Velociraptor!’ then you’ll have a fine time. And there’s even some fairly new moments for the lads: ‘I Hear Voices’ and ‘Neon Noon’ discovers some cheeky krautrock synth work, which propels them to shed the spectre of their idols for a few scintillating minutes.

In critique though, after five listens the stage sets begin to look a bit shabby. If this happens then just try and forget that the title track sounds like the overplayed Ting Tings anthem (or at best a lost Primal Scream single from ‘Riot City Blues’), that ‘La Fée Verte’ is so obsessed with The Beatles they actually quote Lennon, and that ‘Switchblade Smiles’ might be the same block rocking beats that The Chemical Brothers surfed Tim Burgess on nearly two decades ago. And for the full popcorn experience, maybe overlook ‘A Man Of Simple Pleasures’, which like the lunar Richard Ashcroft performing a Doors whisky pastiche.

For more seasoned ears ‘Velociraptor!’ may be too mired in its obvious references. We ask: can you hear your children singing these songs in twenty years’ time like we chorused the Stones’ ‘Paint It Black’ back to our own parents? Probably not, but that shouldn’t stop the party. If you love Kasabian you might think ‘Velociraptor!’ is a 9/10 album, but for the rest of us it’s a salt-seasoned, Spielberg-sponsored 7/10.


Words by Matthew Bennett

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