Kasabian have come a long way since the first time they were branded as “lad rock”. It’s not something which could have been argued at the time really, they supported Oasis on tour, swilled lager and slated just about every other band that were in competition at the time. Their 2004 debut, self-titled album was hugely successful and had an electronic infused alternative rock sound, helping them gain status in the British music industry. Since then, however, their albums have varied slightly from that and none more so than their latest project “Velociraptor”.
The album itself still contains that trademark Kasabian, electronic rock sound but also, through most of the album, has a psychedelic sound which has become prominent in a lot of the band’s work in recent years. The album overall is a lot less frantic and somewhat calmer than the previous 3.
Opening track “Let’s roll just like we used to” is cool and understated and sets the tone well for the rest of the album. The opening sequence to this song has a somewhat Mexican yet psychedelic vibe which would not have sounded out of place in “Desperado”. This is definitely one of the album highlights which could have been released as one of the singles from Velociraptor. The first tracks released were titled “Switchblade Smiles” and “Days are forgotten” (arguably two of the worst tracks from the whole album). “Switchblade Smiles” slightly pushes the boundaries from electronic-a, even for Kasabian, and almost verges into an 80s synthesiser sound in the opening. “Days are forgotten” isn’t a bad track, just not the best on the album. The track starts off well but the chorus is slightly disappointing.
Serge Pizzorno takes lead vocals for “Acid Turkish Bath”, arguably one of the best yet most underrated songs on the full album. He also steps up for “La Fee Verte”, another personal favourite and by far the most mellow and psychedelic sound on the whole album. The song even contains the lyrics “I see Lucy in the sky, telling me I’m High” a reference to Beatles track “Lucy in the sky with diamonds” which was famed for its psychedelic sound.
This album shoes that 7 years on, Kasabian are still as passionate, talented and dedicated to the cause as they were on “Kasabian”. It feels like the boys have established a trademark sound and manage to interpret it into each album, while still finding ways to make each album stand out individually. Some of the tracks are instant successes while others are definite growers but fans of Kasabian will most definitely have this album on repeat.