Review Summary: A string of cool tracks between standard arena crowd pleasers...
I was ready to hate the new Kasabian album as soon as I saw the front cover. It's terrible and makes the one used on 48:13
look like a masterpiece. I get stripping layers is trendy, but not like this. Then, reading Sergio's facepalm inducing statement as "saving guitar music from the abyss" didn't help either, especially coming from a band who embraced electronics (they've never been rock gurus in the first place). Moreover, the main songwriter got inspired by bonding with Claudio Ranieri who is a fan of theirs and claimed 'Fire' inspired the Leicester soccer team to win a certain match a while ago. All this promotional hodgepodge signaled a potential disaster, yet the latest album is actually decent.
For Crying Out Loud
can be transposed into a football match and after party soundtrack. Energetically starting with 'Ill Ray (The King)', focusing on bouncy percussive beats and short, stop-start guitar chords until breaking into a banger during the chorus. You can already picture diehard fans hitting the drums and cheering in the tribunes as the game begins. During the first half, 'You're In Love with a Psycho' is the catchy moment when everybody happily sings along to the custom team hymns. As a first single, this is quite tame, however, it portrays really well what's Kasabian all about these days: arena pop-rock prone to offering crowds the chance to sing in unison. Moving on, 'Twentyfourseven' is an intense rocker (arguably the punchiest track in the catalog so far) that pleasantly takes you by surprise. Much like the previous cut, it aims for instant gratification, but it works, because they keep it simple and don't lose themselves in pointless detours or whiny croons.
As the second half is underway, the team is still in good shape, albeit visibly tired. 'Wasted' builds on a nice acoustic progression and maintains a more subdued tone on top of which Tom puts some actual effort into the melodic chorus. He is one of Kasabian's trademarks, but sometimes I wish he expanded a bit his vocal range instead of relying on that alcoholic Brit tone. Anyway, it doesn't matter because towards the end of the match, the team scores the decisive goal, winning the game! Thus, 'Comeback Kid' is the enthusiastic interaction between the players, who gathered at the fences to greet everyone and the fans responding with powerful choreography. This soaring track will undoubtedly be played as some team's goal soundtrack or at least be featured on the next PC/console soccer game.
Since the team won, the ultras paint the town red, proceeding to drink themselves to death in pubs/bars/clubs to the sound of 'Are You Looking for Action?'. This acid disco throwback is somewhere between Primal Scream's Screamadelica
era and Brian Jonestown Massacre's Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?
pastiche. To be honest, I find it the most enjoyable track on For Crying Out Loud
thanks to Pizzorno sticking to a tested pattern and leaving things to roll on their own. The groove is damn cool, whereas the chorus is simply fun and the extended coda leaves room for guilty pleasure dancing. Later that night, you're suddenly sloppy drunk and have to throw up the evil in ya. The comedown kicks in some filthy bathroom, while the low key ditty 'All Through the Night' gently accompanies your pitiful self. Again, it tags along nicely, feeling rather humble amid Kasabian's current output. Nevertheless, you get up, never giving up, ready for one more round. So, you push yourself among the people to reach the bar, listening to 'Bless This Acid House'. You find your friends, all ***faced too and atonally scream those "ooohs" you hear and bang yer heads until you drop dead on the floor, waiting for someone to grab and take you home. Luckily, tomorrow is Sunday, you can rest your weary head before the new week starts. Still, next weekend the team plays away and you have all the reasons to get excited about reliving all these awesome memories with yer friends. Maybe you'll even listen to these tracks on your phone at work to pump yourself up, maybe you don't remember much.
This is pretty much what I feel when listening to For Crying Out Loud
. It's definitely better than I expected, but that doesn't say much. I was happy when Kasabian seemed to focus enough to produce albums of considerable substance. Unfortunately, a couple of hits later the gang decided it's way more rewarding to head into the arena rock direction. This typical trap only got amplified as their cocky attitude got worse and not even the worst idea or criticism would penetrate the proud aura that revolves around them. Although there's nothing innovative about it, at least they brought the guitars back, offering us a handful of groovy tracks among all the kitschy bonanza. The LP is stagnant in the grand scheme of things, but that's good for them. It could've been much worse.