Friday, May 05, 2017

Album Review :: Kasabian - For Crying Out Loud



For Crying Out Loud

May 5 2017 (Columbia)


Words: Richard O’Hagan

Once a band has been around for a few years, it starts to become hard to find something new to say about them. At times this can be a problem.

Fortunately, in the case of ‘For Crying Out Loud’, the sixth album from Kasabian, they aren’t really trying to do anything all that new at all. Which is not to say that this album is in any sense a sort of Kasabian-by-numbers outing. Whilst it is very firmly set at maintaining their title as the nation’s finest purveyors of this sort of dance-rock crossover sound, there are one or two new tricks thrown in there to keep listeners on their toes.

The record opens with ‘Ill Ray (The King)’, which may or may not be the first time a Spanish language pun has graced these pages. It’s a little bit Kasabian-lite, like a band just warming up rather than really giving it their all, but it brings with it the album’s first expletive (this is in fact the first Kasabian album to have a Parental Advisory label attached to it) and also a strong hint as to what is to follow. In common with one or two other recent releases (the latest from Maximo Park springs to mind) there’s a bit of a late Seventies, early Eighties disco undercurrent to it. There’s clearly a revival going on that we’ve not been invited to.

Next up is the brilliantly bonkers current single ‘You’re In Love With A Psycho’, which if anything takes the disco theme even further. For most bands, having a policy of making sure that you have at least one song per album which leads to a Noel Fielding video would be a career limiting move, but Kasabian pull it off with panache. In that they’re helped by some of their most outlandish lyrics yet, including references to ‘macaroni on a seafood stick’ (no, us neither) and Axel Foley.

First single ‘Are You Looking For Action?’ crops up in its full, eight-minute-plus glory later in the proceedings. It is a tribute to the other songs on here that it isn’t even one of the most outstanding tracks available, but it’s a bit of fun nonetheless. It’s put in the shade, and very firmly so, by the track which follows it, the semi-acoustic, swelling ‘All Through The Night’, which shows the band’s tender side.

That’s not the only surprise here. Everywhere there are little touches which make you sit up and take notice, from the odd electronic noises that punctuate ‘Good Fight’, to the blaring horns on ‘Come Back Kid’, to the whistling – yes, whistling – that kicks off ‘Sixteen Blocks’. There’s no one song, though, where you really want to hit rewind and play it again.

When all is said and done, ‘For Crying Out Loud’ is not a record that is going to make you go ‘Wow, look what Kasabian have done now’. There’s no ‘Empire’ moment to make you sit up and take notice. But as an exercise in reasserting themselves it works quite well.

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