Kasabian – Velociraptor! : Album Review (Rock Album of the Year!)

October 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

If you’re a big Kasabian fan like I am, you were impatiently waiting to see how the British rock band would follow their incredible album, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum’ (2009). The soundtrack-like album was an international hit, and showed the growth of the Leicestershire-based band. Velociraptor!’, released on September 19th, highlights the band’s continuing growth and proves they want to make a serious impact in the music industry. I was beyond ready for this album, and Kasabian’s new record did not disappoint.

The opening track for ‘Velociraptor!’ is one of the strongest openers I have ever heard. The introduction of Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To reminds me of the film “Inglorious Bastards”; it is very cinematic and bold. They stay true to their experimental style, reminding me of their previous West Ryder…’ album. Tom Meighan’s voice is as smooth as ever, separating the band from other weaker-sounding indie vocalists. My favorite track on the album, Days Are Forgotten, follows the opener. This track sounds like it should be in a James Bond film; the electric guitar is just sickening. Meighan’s funky vocals instantly brought me back to their debut album, Kasabian (released in 2004).

Goodbye Kiss takes the album into an unexpected turn; I’m not used to the band singing love songs. It doesn’t have the energy as the first two, but the song is beautifully composed and is very passionate. Velociraptor!, the title track of the album, packs a mean punch! The track definitely wakes you up after the previous song. It is very fun and energetic. I can see kids rocking out to this at future concerts.

Acid Turkish Bath (Shelter From The Storm) continues the audacious tone that Velociraptor!’ embodies. The title of the song is exactly what you would envision the song to sound like. The introduction is haunting, and the song as a whole has so many different sounds; I had to replay it a few times to catch them. All the different notes and tempos make for a very sonically adventurous song, which makes it fun for the listener.

Kasabian wasn’t kidding when they said they were going back to their roots; I Hear Voices is very synth-influenced with some blunt lyrics to back it up:

“My soul you can have it, cause it don’t mean shit. I sell it to the devil for another hit. And midnight is coming and I wish that you were here.”

I love that the simple lyricism is straight to the point and not burdened with unnecessary similes and metaphors that can be found in the songs of hipster bands of today. We all know how draining that can be.

The most powerful song on Velociraptor!’ has to be Switchblade Smiles. As soon as I heard the electric synths I got incredibly excited! It brought me back to the first song I ever heard from the band (Club Foot, released in 2004) which was the moment where I fell in love with them. It is classic Kasabian, but remastered to highlight their maturity and ever-growing talent. The song has so much energy; the listeners’ ears are being completely fucked with and tormented (in a good way of course). Unfortunately it wasn’t chosen to close the album. I found myself drifting off to sleep with Neon Noon, which immediately takes you off the high of Switchblade Smiles.

After listening to the record, I think it’s safe to say that Velociraptor!’ is one of the greatest rock album of the year. Hell, it’s one of the greatest albums of the year, period. The production of this album is freaking incredible, I don’t know how else to describe it! This album embodies true Rock & Roll, which was missing in the sea of ubiquitous indie bands nowadays. I’m glad that Kasabian steered away from the thematic concept album elements a la West Ryder…’ and just created 11 solid tracks; all of the songs are expertly composed and written to evoke thought from the listener. It has a classic vibe that still sounds fresh in 2011, which I appreciate. Many rock bands try new things and fail miserably; I love that Kasabian stayed true to their style and further improved it. From the poetic lyricism to the intense melodies, Velociraptor!’ is definitely an album you want to keep in your collection for years to come.

Joe Marvilli from Consequence of Sound summed it up best: “With such an eclectic display, Kasabian aren’t underdogs anymore. They’ve joined the other predators at the top of the food chain.”

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Songs on Repeat

Days Are Forgotten

Velociraptor!

Switchblade Smiles

Songs to Skip

Re-wired

Neon Noon

What are your thoughts on the album?

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