Kasabian - For Crying Out Loud

People think they know Kasabian, think they're predictable. They hear the earth shaking anthems like 'Club Foot' and 'Empire' and brush them off as just another lad-rock band revered by beer swigging hooligans. Yet dig a little deeper and you may be surprised by what you find. Instead of a dark angry reactionary response to the annus horribilis that was 2016, they come back with their most uptempo celebratory album yet. Quite a risk with Trump, Brexit and scary elections dominating the headlines. Did they pull it off? Oh hell yeah.

'Ill Ray' storms in like a party crasher, replete with buzzing guitars and sweeping choruses: "We got tonight / we got the world /into the future I give you my word." Curve balls like the cheeky pop fun of single 'You're In Love With a Psycho' and the all guns blazing 'Come Back Kid' with its fan-fare horn intro demonstrate a band not afraid of taking risks. Other top tracks are the Stones's-infused rocker 'TwentyFourSeven' and the dizzy psychedelia of 'Good Fight' with modern day Glimmer Twins Serge Pizzorno and Tom Meighan trading vocals back and forth.

The first half's hedonistic madness gives way to the beautiful melancholic 'Wasted'. After the minimalist experimental feel of 2014's 48:13, the lush arrangements may seem heady and overwhelming. 'The Party Never Ends' is a nod to Pizzorno's hero Ennio Morricone and the album's pièce de résistance, the eight minute extravaganza 'Are You Waiting For Action' is a Studio 54 dance anthem that is wonderfully, shamelessly over-the-top: 'Broken bottles / limp biscuits / I see no way of getting outta here / I can't hear you / then I use speak and spell..." Other highlights are the beautiful 'All Through The Night' with Pizzorno on vocals, and the Buzzcocks inspired 'Bless This Acid House': "I get high for just one minute / I take my life and jump right in it /I see my friends in all our numbers / Rip up my plans / nothing matters at all."

The album ends with the ravishing 'Put Your Life On It', originally premiered at the band's epic King Power Stadium shows last May. Featuring the DMU Gospel Choir, the song is a celebration of love and life: "Put your life on it /
put your life on my love / we'll get right on it / like we always could." What better way to end than with a glimmer of hope in what promises to be another challenging year ahead. Are Kasabian mad? If they are then more power to them.

Overall

9

out of 10