Review Summary: Clubbed foot, still running.
When an album opens as thrillingly as Kasabian’s 2004 eponymous debut LP does, the hype surrounding such a release already seems somewhat justified. The song responsible? ‘Club Foot’ – a 3 and half minute swirl of sprightly guitars, swarming electronics and anthemic chanting. It’s one hell of an opener and was the single responsible for sending the group into the public’s foreboding eye. But such an event also brings with it pressure and demand.
For the first half of Kasabian
, one must admit that the band seem to have met such demands - lived up to the hype generated prior to the record’s 2004 release. ‘Processed Beats’ is a splendid hark back to the ‘Madchester’ glory days, rocking and danceable simultaneously, much in the vein of one of the group’s idols, The Stone Roses. Furthering the glory, ‘Reason Is Treason’s cool swagger and ultra-catchy eponymous hook thrills even more.
But as the album progresses, things begin to veer off track somewhat. It’s far from a car crash, but the wealth of ideas and epic ambitions begins to smother towards the end, making the band seem a little unfocused in the process. One suddenly begins to change one’s mind: perhaps they didn’t quite live up to the hype, completely. The band just seem to have let the pressure, their influences, or perhaps a steady mix of both get to them enough to hold Kasabian
back the slightest amount.
The amount is slight, as mentioned, and the record still has a lot to offer, just not as much as hype initially suggested, perhaps. Electronics take the fore more so than at the album’s start, with chilly, robotic cuts such as ‘I.D.’ and the scatter of briefly intriguing interludes. ‘Lost Souls Forever’ and ‘Cutt Off’ continue Kasabian’s love for the paring of dance beats, synthetic touches and jangly riffs, to an enjoyable standard. Kasabian
manages to throw in a surprise at the end, with the haunting ballad, ‘U Boat’, in which Tom Meighan’s voice strains over a squirming, muffled electro bounce.
didn’t quite live up to expectations, then, but the overall package is too appealing to condemn the group too heavily. Its first 3 tracks are polished, poised indie anthems, and rightly so as they still kick hard almost 8 years on. It’s still a shame though, as with a little more focus and refinement, Kasabian could have evolved into something which the hype justified. It takes a few missteps, gets carried away at times and could have been something more, but when approached without the negative energy of hype or expectation, Kasabian
stands proud as a thrilling and accomplished debut.