Following on from the band’s second number 1 album two years ago, ‘West Pauper Lunatic Asylum’, which sold a million, the band’s fourth, ‘Velociraptor!’, sees a group at the top of their game, and looking to prove they are more than just the new Oasis.
Infact, this new record is a mixture of the sound of ‘West Pauper..’, the added influences of flamenco, some songs even have a 60’s vibe to them, aswell as the ‘laddish-rock’, with which they made their name. The album is consistent throughout, but the sound varies constantly, keeping the listener on their toes. At 11 songs, and 52 minutes long, each individual song feels like an epic piece of music, that has its own story to tell.
With the first song, ‘Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To’, they make a statement by starting with a bunch of random sounds put together, some gargling, the jangle of keys, a gong and some pondering trumpets! Then the song itself bursts in and it sounds like an atmospheric mix of what we’re used to hearing from the band.
Then it’s onto ‘Days are Forgotten’, the first single. At first I disliked this, but as it got more and more plays I got to like it. It’s got a good layout and is not just a generic pop song, like the likes of Coldplay are producing nowadays. No it’s long and good! Infact, the majority of the songs are good, but many vary in degrees in quality. Like, ‘Goodbye Kiss’, for example, sounds like a ballad that could’ve been sung by one of the crooners in the 50’s! For this reason, as it doesn’t really suit my tastes, it’s my least enjoyable song on the album.
The next triplet of songs show the wide variety that this album holds songwise. ‘La Fee Verte’, is a quiet, avant-garde piece, that adds in a couple of trumpets during the chorus, it sounds rather mellow and relaxing. The title track, ‘Velociraptor‘, is reminiscent of the brash, fast rocky edge that Kasabian are familiar for, starting with a fast, up-beat tempo and rarely letting it down. And the start of the second part, is the amusingly titled ‘Acid Turkish Bath (Shelter from the Shower’, which starts like its title, with Arabic strings adding dramatics to what sounds an intriguing combination of the past two tracks. Its first half sounding mellow, before the loud, brash chorus in the middle, before building to a mighty crescendo.
The band’s electronic influences shine through in ‘I Hear Voices and ‘Switchblade Smiles’, as both begin with electro intro’s. ‘Voices’, is more of a paranoid, synthesier riffed piece, that trundles along with the refrain, ‘My soul you can have it cos it don’t mean s**t, I sell it to the devil for another hit’, throughout. ‘Smiles’, takes a while to get going, but sounds like another potential Sky Sports track over an advert with a shouty ‘Can you feel it coming?’. This perhaps the most triumphant song of the album, as that line alone encaptulates what the band have become- probably the biggest rock band in the UK.
‘Rewired’ and ‘Man of Simple Pleasures‘ are more straightforward, yet similarly entertaining tunes, still with an electronic undercurrent, but retaining the acoustic vibes that a more traditional rock band should be known for. The closer ‘Neon Noon’, is pretty beautiful. Beginning with only a guitar, before incorparating a synth riff, and also giving songwriter Serge Pizzorno his own song, following the impressive use of his backing vocals both in this album and ‘West Pauper’. It all comes to a lovely slow close of electronic gargling, before disappearing into nothing
All in all then, a good, not nearly complacent fourth album for Kasabian, who just seem to be stepping up and up!
‘Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To’
‘Days Are Forgotten’
‘La Fee Verte’
‘Acid Turkish Bath (Shelter from the Storm)’
‘I Hear Voices’
‘Man of Simple Pleasures’