They say that you don’t appreciate music until you’re about 16/17 and finding your feet as well as hair in places you never thought it grew but strangely I found one of my favourite bands at the age of 7 – luckily I didn’t find hair under my armpits until I was 12. That band was Kasabian.
The East Midlanders founded back in 1997 however it wasn’t until 2004 that they released their debut album – Kasabian. The first two singles which were released to promote the album – ‘Processed Beats’ and ‘Reason is Treason’ weren’t very successful and received very little reception however ‘Club Foot’ got the band in the UK Singles Chart. Now you’ve read the title Club Foot the beat is definitely in your head – it’s unshakeable. The debut album also contained gems such as ‘L.S.F.’ and ‘U Boat’ but listening back now as I write this, the album has a very electro-tech vibe on certain tracks such as ‘I.D’ and ‘Running Battle’ giving the band a unique sound/mix of electro-rock.
Their second album released in 2006 – and probably their best album ever was Empire. ‘Empire’, and ‘Shoot The Runner’ are two of Kasabian’s biggest hits and rightly so. This album created their image, sound and name. Electric tech beats collaborating alongside the dusky voice of Tom Meighan and power-driven riffs. ‘Stuntman’ contains elements of the electro-tech from the first album but the absolute anthem ‘Shoot The Runner’ is pure rock. Heavy drums and the command-like deliverance of the lyrics can’t help but be belted by every listener – the sprinkle of guitar and bass solo’s throughout combined with Sergio Pizzorno’s backing-vocals help create a new kind of Brit-Rock.
One thing that Kasabian capture in every album and almost every song is the powerful and engaging lyrics. Even when Christopher Karloff departed from the band after the release of ‘Empire’ and Sergio Pizzorno took over as song-writer, the strength of the lyrics didn’t remain the same – it improved. Some artists we listen to for background noise, other’s we listen to to fit in and then there’s the selected few we listen to for the lyrics and messages conveyed in their music. Kasabian are one of those bands. Example – their third album – now written by Serg ‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum’ contained the track ‘Where Did All the Love Go?’ the lyrics read:
“Never took a punch in the ribcage, sonny
Never met a soul who had no shrine
Keep this all in your mind and get it inside my window
What do we become trying to kill each other?
You’re faking it son, gonna get you tonight
I suck another breath to the hearts of the revolution
Because you still ain’t right
Where did all the love go?”
This isn’t just the garbage you hear from other bands, no disgruntled slang or moans about ‘FTP’ and all that. This is addressing conflict within society, the lack of unity, how brain-dead we all are. These lyrics convey meaning, messages and morality.
‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum’. Again, another brilliant album – probably joint top with ‘Empire’ after listening to it again now. There isn’t a song on the album that’s weak, every single track is an anthem. ‘Underdog’, ‘Take Aim’, ‘Thick as Thieves’ and ‘Vlad The Impaler’ are adored by fans for their upbeat tempos, dirty guitar riffs and catchy lyrics. If you’ve never listened to Kasabian before then listen to this album first, it various sides to the band. The tempo of the album is constantly changing making the album a pleasure to listen to.
‘Velociraptor!’ is a weird but wonderful album by the band. Never did I think I’d ever be buzzed to hear a song about a Velociraptor but I was. The tour to promote ‘Velociraptor!’ was the first time I was lucky enough to see Tom, Serg & the boys in the flesh. Their music live is a completely different experience to listening to it recorded. You hear another level to the guitar solos, the bass is spine-tingling and Meighan’s voice is flawless. ‘Switchblade Smiles’ live gives you shivers throughout your body when performed live, and that’s just the intro of it. ‘La Fee Verte’ is beautiful and it’s blatant that Pizzorno puts his heart, soul and anything else he can into the music he writes for Kasabian. This isn’t just about making music that sells, it’s making music they’re proud of, that they can call their own.
Over the years Kasabian have been compared to The Stone Roses and Primal Scream but always have their own style of British rock music which is constantly evolving whilst still containing elements of their original sound.
’48:13’ took fans and the band right back to their debut album even though it was released 10 years later. Their music is a treat, and the song ‘treat’ reminds me of ‘Test Transmission’ from their first album – electro-tech piano/keyboard intro throws the listener back ten years reminding them that the band are still the same – they haven’t sold themselves out to be successful, they have made their own success. ‘eez-eh’, ‘stevie’ and “bumblebeee’ were released to promote the album and they are definitely the three strongest songs on ’48:13’ however the album is still a gem.
Now, three years on their sixth album is being released on Friday the 5th of May – ‘For Crying Out Loud’. The first single released on March 17th ‘You’re in Love with A Psycho’ has definitely filled the gap that’s remained in my heart for the past three years. On ’48:13’ we heard more then just backing vocals off Pizzorno and you can hear more of him in ‘You’re in Love with a Psycho’. He voice is softer than Meighan’s raw tone but they work together perfectly supported by the catchy riffs and drums. The second single released ‘Comeback Kid’ has got a similar vibe to ‘Fast Fuse’ and it very upbeat and heavy but also contains some sixties – Beatle-like vibes throughout the song which I personally cannot help but love. ‘Bless This Acid House’ is something completely new, fresh and different from the band. It’s heavier rock, very guitar, drum and bass-driven but Meighan’s recognizable voice remains the same and keeps the band grounded.
This band have been a huge part of my upbringing and had such an influence on my music taste and I am very lucky that I found this band at such a young age. I felt that the band have grown up with me and after seeing them three times I definitely feel a strong connection between their music and me. If you haven’t found a place in your heart for Kasabian yet then please give them a listen. You won’t be disappointed.
Their sixth album called ‘For Crying Out Loud’ is out now and from what I’ve heard so far – you won’t be disappointed.
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