Kasabian - Velociraptor!

by Dan MacIntosh

Kasabian singer Tom Meighan has one of those voices that make you hang on every word. When he speaks about neighbors that think he should be locked up in an asylum, you half believe him. He then admits, "They wouldn't be the first to want to see me in a hearse," which only makes you feel pity for the poor soul.

Meighan has a snotty voice, quite similar to Liam Gallagher, but Kasabian fills out its songs with so much more variety than Oasis ever could or would. Oasis wore its Beatles influences on its sleeve, which is not a bad thing. It just became predictable after a while. Kasabian, on the other hand, gives "Goodbye Kiss" just a touch of Phil Spector production touches, for instance, while a few of these songs subtly incorporate trumpet. "Acid Turkish Bath (Shelter from the Storm)," as well as this album's title track, have an Eastern music feel. It's not all Indian, like George Harrison's Beatles and post-Beatles songs, but just enough influence to transform these songs from standard pop-rock tunes, to something a whole lot spicier. "Acid Turkish Bath (Shelter from the Storm)" even includes a hand-clapping middle section that is effective.

One of this album's strangest and most unexpected tracks is titled "Re-Hired." It is built upon a keyboard part that hearkens back to vintage Kraftwerk. It stands out conspicuously when it comes along, simply because it's just so darn different from everything else.

In more than a few places, there are lyrical references concerning drugs. These are not, however, 'come on, let's party!' drug references, but closer to the darker side of chemical experimentation. These words give the album an overall feel of unease. It's as though these guys have seen the darkness, much like confronting the devil himself on the street, and it's spooked them.

Kasabian is one of those bands that may get lumped in with many other hyped British acts. The group can't help that. Even so, don't let all the hype keep you away from Velociraptor! This is the sort of album that ought to put Kasabian up into the rarified air of the very best British bands. This music belongs in the same conversation of Blur, The Verve and Oasis, which is the highest of praise. Give it a listen. Chances are good that you won't be disappointed.

Kasabian - Velociraptor!

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