Velociraptor! – the fourth album produced by Kasabian was released yesterday. By no means is it a dinosaur of an album, but neither does it suggest the Leicester band’s success is heading towards extinction.

First questions first: the name? According to lead vocalist Tom Meighan the album is so titled because “it’s a cool word… Latin… prehistoric”. Meighan has clearly done his background for Velociraptor means ‘fast hunter’ in the language of the Romans. And it surely won’t be long before Kasabian’s burgeoning fanbase pounce on this latest effort and propel it to the top of the album charts.

Contrary to what you would expect from an album named after a reptile, Velociraptor! doesn’t take long to warm up. Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To is an intriguing opening track as it totally contradicts the classic Kasabian song formula. At times it echoes of Last Shadow Puppets‘ orchestral pop, far removed from their typical electronica overtones. Following in this vein are La Fee Verte and Goodbye Kiss, where it’s surprising to hear Meighan, a caged tiger of a live performer, singing about love. “I hope someday that we meet again” he purrs over tambourine clatters in the 60’s-belonging ballad. 

The sharply-named pre-release Switchblade Smiles reverts more to type, relying on a heavy assortment of bass which parallels Club Foot. In fact it’s so similar to that  it could well be the same song played backwards. Still it’s catchy enough for FIFA 12. It also features on Match of the Day 2, something which will please guitarist Serge Pizzorno – a decent footballer in his prime. Remember this?

New single Days are Forgotten lacks the creativity of a typical Kasabian number and is consequently staler than a week-old loaf of bread. BBC Breakfast presenter Sian Williams compares the #28 single to the OK Computer days of Radiohead which the band gratefully accept as a “huge compliment. Personally I count that as an admission of a 4 minute durge.

Title track Velociraptor! adds pace and bite to proceedings with a clever riff and an explosive, comical chorus of “Velociraptor, he’s gonna find yer, he’s gonna kill yer, he’s gonna eat yer”. Elsewhere Re-wired reacquaints with the space rock genre while Acid Turkish Bath with its Arabian influences wouldn’t be out of place in a desert crossing of a Middle Eastern film.

After playing with Fire in West Ryder… Kasabian show here that they have plenty of other tricks in their act. Songwriter Pizzorno describes it as a “jukebox record”. I wouldn’t advise skipping through any of this selection.

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Comments
  1. TheChronicR says:

    What a thorough and great review, and very nicely written! I can for sure say it is a lot better than mine. 😀

    I agree with you, yes. What’s your favorite off of this album? Mine is no doubt Re-Wired, I’ve replayed it like a hundred times. Haha.

    • thereviewer says:

      Cheers, much appreciated! I haven’t done a song by song review like you. Classic video of Serge on Soccer AM. Velociraptor is my favourite – catchy, nice riff, punky. What more could you ask for? Best album so far or is that still West Ryder…?

      • iamkaja says:

        Hey, wow, great review. I’m really not keen on this release, Kasabian took a completely different approach to this one than to the previous albums – something that doesn’t quite work for me, though it seems to work for all the other fans (your prediction was right, about them propelling it to no.1!). West Ryder is still definitely way above this one methinks.
        Re-Wired itself is indeed one of the more decent ones off the album 😀

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