Kasabian
Velociraptor!


3.0
good

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
September 15th, 2011 | 124 replies | 40,777 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Lucy in the sky told Kasabian to get high and head east.

With the implosion of Oasis and The Libertines, it is reassuring to know that one English quartet is still around to brighten up our day with their self-promotion. I mean, why should anyone wait for others to hype their band, when they could do it themselves? Over the course of their decade long existence, Kasabian have apparently saved rock’n’roll, saved dance music and even saved English music in general. They have done so by releasing the greatest album ever... Before superseding it with their own follow-up. Loved by many, and hated by many, many more, the group’s boasting too often masks their talent, since their best work is often a refreshing, genre-bending combination of psychedelic electro-rock. Unfortunately, all these characteristics have previously resulted in over-ambitious experimentation clogging their releases with filler, and leading to the label of being a singles band... And when their fourth LP ‘Velociraptor!’ opens with the striking of a giant gong and some trumpets, it is difficult to think that much has changed in the world of Kasabian. I think we are supposed to bow down and hail our saviors once more!

What comes next however is something approaching restraint; a word not usually associated with Kasabian. More than anything, what the album's first three tracks lay the foundation for, is a concerted focus on melody. ‘Velociraptor!’ is more Beatles than Oasis, with retro 60s harmonies being so prevalent that you can almost see the black & white video of a future single having the band in mop-tops mocking the famous Liverpudlians. “Lucy in the sky” is even quoted on ‘La Fee Verte’, a tune where the quartet’s psychedelic leanings run rampant. Of course, this is Kasabian and experimentation is bound to exist. This time around, they at least attempt to integrate a sense of cohesion with many tracks incorporating strings, and even more displaying Eastern flourishes. In fact, so common are the latter, that you half expect Omar Sharif to make a cameo appearance! As per usual, the results are mixed, with the trippy Arabian stomp of six minute centrepiece ‘Acid Turkish Bath’ likely to be most divisive.

While the spotlight on melody is value-adding, it does come at a cost as the album progresses through its 51 minute duration. Namely, that it is not the strength of lead vocalist Tom Meighan, whose cocksure drawl is better suited to the band’s trademark energy which has been mostly sapped here. This results in ‘Velociraptor!’ occasionally falling too close to mid-tempo indifference; another word not usually associated with Kasabian. The glitchy electronica of lead single ‘Switchblade Smiles’ comes closest to recalling the band’s debut LP, but feels out of place and only makes you want to revisit ‘Reason Is Treason’. Ditto for the effective synth line of the almost new-wave like ‘I Hear Voices’, while the title track is the most energetic - and somehow likeable - cut in spite of how nonsensical it is. Also as per usual, Kasabian do strike gold at least once, with ‘Re-Wired’ melding their varying influences into an appealing tune that has energy, swagger and the type of catchiness that will infiltrate your mind. Conversely, closer ‘Neon Noon’ attempts something similar in a slow-burning package, but only succeeds in putting listeners to sleep.

The phrase “the more things change, the more they stay the same” is an apt one to describe the progression which Kasabian have made from album to album. One would be hard-pressed to suggest that they have done much recycling over their career, yet the result always ends up around the same mark. With Dan the Automator’s idiosyncratic production and ambitious head songwriter Serge Pizzorno displaying his usual liking for the weird and wacky, “consistency” is unlikely to enter Kasabian’s vocabulary any time soon. So while ‘Velociraptor!’ takes us to a few different destinations than we may have expected, it is ultimately going to elicit the same divisive response which its three predecessors did. And when weighing the band’s discography up for the sake of comparison, it is unfortunately doubtful that the peaks of ‘Velociraptor!’ will stand the test of time as much as a ‘Club Foot’, ‘Empire’ or ‘Fire’.

Recommended Tracks: Re-Wired, Days Are Forgotten & Goodbye Kiss.



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user ratings (154)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Major Tom CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
Wired to a higher standard?...

VigdeVillan (3)
A gnarled, braying apprentice-piece...

Luke Barratt (3.5)
The K Factor: Do Kasabian still have 'it' in their brand new album, 'Velociraptor!'?...


Comments:Add a Comment 
TheVoiceAndTheSnake
September 15th 2011



3663 Comments


Switchblade Smiles
They go on for miles
And will be forever
Now we stand together
and fill the Aisles

No Way back
From a Shark Attack
See The Eyes Rollover
From Behind your Shoulder
And Fade To Black


DoubtGin
September 15th 2011



6748 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nononononononononononononononononononononononon

their last album was great, I don't want to be disappointed


DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2011



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Actually, I wanted to include a few lyrics in the review, but never got the chance. The one I really wanted to get in was: "They hunt for rabbits just like Yosemite Sam".

I still think their last album was their best, if only just from their debut. If you liked that, you'll like this as well... Just not as much.

TheVoiceAndTheSnake
September 15th 2011



3663 Comments


Shoot the runner
Shoot, shoot the runner
I'm a king and she's my queen, BITCH


DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2011



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

BITCH must be in capitals just to annoy people who hated that song because of 1 word.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2011



6438 Comments


Recommended albums section is ACE!

Not so eager to check this out, I'm one of the people who think of Kasabian as a singles band

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

TheVoiceAndTheSnake
September 15th 2011



3663 Comments


"And when weighing the band’s discography up for the sake of comparison, it is unfortunately doubtful that the peaks of ‘Velociraptor!’ will stand the test of time as much as a ‘Club Foot’, ‘Empire’ or ‘Fire’."

Agreed. Although Re-Wired does come close, easily the best song on the album.


DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2011



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yep, 'Re-Wired' stands out easily & I'm quite shocked it hasn't already been released as a single. I actually have the top 2 of my Recos clearly out in front & then a batch of 4 tracks about equal. The title track is sooo infectious, but it's also sooooo silly.

I guess these guys will release a great 'Best Of' some time soon... & it's also a reason why their live show is very good.

Tyrael
September 15th 2011



20823 Comments


Lucy in the sky told Kasabian to get high and head east.

Oh you silly staffer you


AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2011



7325 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome review as ever Davey, sounds like this'll be more or less as I expected.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2011



7164 Comments


Whoa...a couple of days with no Staff reviews then BANG! four of them come flying out of the gate within twenty minutes of each other. You guys are on a roll =)

Okay Users, it's time to pack up and leave the feature section now ;)

Digging: Ty Segall - Manipulator

klap
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2011



10314 Comments


fuck this band

Digging: Literature - Chorus

bloc
September 15th 2011



34768 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This sucks but it's better than the previous album

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

TheVoiceAndTheSnake
September 15th 2011



3663 Comments


Come on bloc you can't go wrong on this album with lyrics like these.

Doomed from the start
We met with a goodbye kiss, I broke my wrist
It all kicked off, I had no choice
You said that you didn’t mind 'cause love’s hard to find
Maybe the days we had are gone, living in silence for too long
Open your eyes and what do you see?
No more laughs, no more photographs

Running wild
Giving it everyone, now that’s all done
Cause we burnt out, that's what you do
When you have everything, it can’t be true
Maybe the days we had are gone, living in silence for too long
Open you’re eyes and what do you see?
The last stand, let go of my hand



bloc
September 15th 2011



34768 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I find it hard to believe that this is the band that wrote ID, which is like one of my favourite songs.

Lakes.
September 15th 2011



26745 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

is this as good as the last one

Digging: BABYMETAL - Babymetal

DoubtGin
September 15th 2011



6748 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"This sucks but it's better than the previous album"

die

AtavanHalen
September 15th 2011



17927 Comments


Awful band making awful music for awful people

CK: pretty good 5/5

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2011



4507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hope this sounds like cocaine heavy Oasis

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2011



7325 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I didn't realise they split opinion so much. Obviously nobody is universally adored but they seem to be largely respected here in the UK at least.



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