Kaiser Chiefs
Education, Education, Education & War


2.8
good

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
April 4th, 2014 | 18 replies | 5,456 views


Release Date: 03/31/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Kaiser Chiefs learning how to play themselves once again.

The Kaiser Chiefs have been slowly fading out of the public's eye in the past five years or so, in a struggle to maintain their commercial success while also making efforts to keep themselves relevant by maturing both lyrically and musically. Their appeal was mainly based on catchy singles and less on full lengths, as they often lacked substance. Off With Their Heads was pretty much hit and miss and things have only gotten worse with the fairly uninteresting and bloated Future Is Medieval. The latter even offered fans to create their own track list plus cover, however the efforts were pointless as the material was subpar. Moreover, the band hit another low point when key member Nick Hodgson left, so a resurgence was mandatory. They have hired producer Fraser Smith to help with the songwriting and frontman Ricky Wilson joined The Voice UK coach team, a move that in his own words, ''will sell more records''. So, pummeling another set of anthemic, working class cynicism-soaked tunes, the Chiefs have streamlined their powers into a more engaging record that became Education, Education, Education & War (with the title borrowed from a Tony Blair speech).

Even though these guys have never been the most consistent act out there, their infectious singles have maintained quite some replay value. Their arena-sized choruses and engaging melodies have always been more appreciated in a live setting and their latest material is no different. Frustrated teenagers will most probably find 'Coming Home', 'One More Last Song' and 'Bows & Arrows' perfect for that big festival, drunk sing-along, since the angsty lyrics don't say much, but they sound cool and easy to remember. Wilson & Co. have always been realistic regarding their strengths and know that even if some tunes are pretty much devoid of any substance and clear meaning, playing them passionately is what matters most. On the other hand, their usual politics-infused rants and social commentary are represented on tracks such as the great opener 'The Factory Gates', which feels like a sequel to their breakthrough hit, 'I Predict A Riot', 'Ruffians On Parade' or the flamboyant 'Cannons', complete with a military news flash piece. They are not bad tracks by any means and are nicely constructed, but tend to collapse under their own weight, especially the latter. Still, there is no turning back now, this is the sound and content the band have built their career on, so they can only push forward in hope to hit their target along the way.

Even at 45 minutes, Education, Education, Education & War feels too long, because the Chiefs are 100% committed to impose their sarcastic views till the last second. The best moments here come when Wilson loosens up a little on the Sunday morning hangover atmosphere portrayed in 'My Life' or the stomping 'Misery Company', but even then he can't help addressing the whole nation with some acid lines that are true yet generic ("The weight of the world is in our hands, right/Straight as my oath that I live by/Don't even know what we're fighting for"). Unfortunately, his message often gets diluted in a desperate try to make it more accessible.

If the record had seen the light of day back in 2007 or even one year later, it surely would've had a lot more impact than it does today. Since it's simply the band being themselves again, but with a bit more flair, EEE&W would have been perfect at the time to keep their spark glowing. Still, who's already tired of their shtick won't be bothered with this one, even if the melodies are more powerful and compelling this time.




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user ratings (19)
Chart.
2.8
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2014



3333 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

Nice album, but quite generic and pretentious at times. Hopefully, they keep this direction and release something more noteworthy next time.

Stream it here in full - http://albumstreams.com/s/kaiser-chiefs/education-education-education-and-war

Digging: Karma To Burn - Arch Stanton

Crawl
April 4th 2014



1551 Comments


Idk I enjoyed these guys live. I also kinda like OWTH, but I really don't feel like listening to this. It's long as shit.

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2014



10258 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah they would be much better served releasing shorter records. i still like their debut

Digging: The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2014



15789 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

didnt like this, their debut had some good tunes though
great rev

Digging: Synaesthesia (UK) - Synaesthesia

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2014



19440 Comments


good review. Used to dig a few songs by these guys

Digging: The Who - Tommy

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2014



15789 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

born to be a dancer was one of the catchiest things ever

Crawl
April 4th 2014



1551 Comments


my fav by them is never miss a beat

scottpilgrim10
April 4th 2014



2425 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Awful album, their debut is so much better.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 4th 2014



15789 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

that education, education speech was like 15 years ago, these guys arent very topical haha

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2014



3333 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

Thanks guys.

Off With Their Heads was solid and Employment is still their best record. This has some great tunes though, but feels so long.

Kalopsia
April 4th 2014



926 Comments


what an annoying fucking album title lol

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 5th 2014



20632 Comments


wow i just realized you made staff. congrats man

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 6th 2014



3333 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

thanks man!

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2014



15789 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"what an annoying fucking album title lol"

agreed, tony blair was much more annoying though trust me

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2014



23798 Comments


WE ARE THE ANGRY MOB
WE READ THE PAPERS EVERY DAY
WE LIKE WHAT WE LIKE AND HATE WHAT WE HATE
BUT WE'RE ALSO EASILY SWAYED

x100

justanothername
April 13th 2014



3 Comments


I used to love these guys so I'll check it out but I'm not expecting much but I can't believe it got number 1 in the UK. When it was first announced not many people seemed to care.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2014



3333 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

Well, it's better than their recent output. The main reason why this is topping the charts for two weeks now is because Wilson is a coach on The Voice UK.

zakalwe
April 14th 2014



6554 Comments


I don't understand why none of the blokes in The Voice don't turn to face their prospective protégés with their cock out.
Welcome to the bottom rung now start slurping




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