For some time now, Kasabian have managed to juggle a repertoire of multiple highly recognisable, high energy tracks with a kind of eerie forgettableness; it’s strange to think that they’ve been around for twenty years now, floating around in that ether of indie rock so largely filled with Alex Turner’s hair gel. For every ‘Fire’ Kasabian have ten nigh-identical damp squibs, and through recent albums their music has been missing the intensity and flair which first earned them their stripes. With interest waning, For Crying Out Loud is an opportunity for rejuvenation, before Kasabian becomes consigned to life as background noise to yet another plastic pint of overpriced festival beer.
The album heads off to a fun but ultimately uninspired start with ‘Ill Ray (The King)’; Kasabian open with renewed vigour, a welcome change from previous album 48:13 (the distortion-heavy drones of which are soon to revisited on ‘Twentyfourseven’, but only briefly), but my first response was mild disappointment. Disappointment accompanied by foot-tapping, for sure – but if I wanted classic Kasabian I’d listen to West Ryder. But I was not to linger in this disappointment. Following through into ‘You’re In Love With A Psycho’, the album takes a more melodic swing, already a step up from more recent outings. With a few exceptions, this continues throughout the album – Kasabian have regained some much-needed character with this record.
my first response was mild disappointment. Disappointment accompanied by foot-tapping
Indeed, For Crying Out Loud is actually a thoroughly enjoyable, upbeat album. It undeniably has spirit, and various tracks are interesting in their own right. Kasabian don’t stray too far from their indie-rocking comfort zone – there is no genre-bending epiphany here – but they have played to their strengths to create a lively and animated selection of tracks. Ones to listen out for include ‘Comeback Kid’ – a pop rock record if ever I heard one, but a good time nonetheless – ‘Bless This Acid House’, and the surprisingly funky ‘Sixteen Blocks’.
Although likely to prove more a flash-in-the-pan, play-for-the-summer type of album, For Crying Out Loud – coming soon to the late afternoon set of a festival near you, no doubt – proves that Kasabian have still got it. They may not have a set idea of what ‘it’ is, but at least this time round they’ve put some pizzazz into it. Even if the lyrics still make no sense.