English rockers Kasabian’s fourth album Velociraptor! sounds like the band is looking through the past, darkly.
The group’s usually spiky sound is enhanced and stitched up with ambitious use of much electronica, and synths to the fore.
This album is a sleeper and requires several spins to “get” it – and even then…
What’s most obvious is Kasabian’s pastiche of Brit-rock sounds from the ‘90s moving backwards to Swinging London. Days Are Forgotten is a pipeline to the Carnaby Street heyday, complete with Cockney accent and Austin Powers-approved girlie vocals. It’s a throwback, but a worthy one nonetheless.
The angular riffing and thud beat that Kasabian usually revel in are present under the mist of Sergio Pizzorno’s sonic sound wash.
Velociraptor! is dipping into the vacant Oasis well here and there throughout.
Tom Meighan indulges himself with keening under the gray British skies in the manner of Liam Gallagher. But the adventurousness of Kasabian gives the album a playful edge in the form of spaghetti western riffs and surf beats (Switchblade Smiles) and nursery rhyme psychedelics (La Fee Verte).
The group’s shining moment amidst the dreamy propulsion and grinding electronics is the evocative ballad, Goodbye Kiss – a melodic gold nugget that shines out amongst the swirl and nostalgia.
–– Dean Gordon-Smith is The Morning Star’s music reviewer. His column, Street Sounds, appears every Friday.