Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Kaiser Chiefs – Start The Revolution Without Me

This is Kaiser Chiefs fourth studio album (American release). It features some new tracks and others which were not on the European release. They return three/four years after their pop filled 'Off With Their Heads'. Kaiser Chiefs were part of that 2006 Indie Rock revolution the NME had running. Six years later and Kaiser Chiefs still have that 'indie' sound, just with electronic aspects to blend in with modern recordings. They're not too indifferent from Kasabian. They both have a rock background and build upon synth hooks, with decent 'football-core' vocal styles and song progressions.

They borderline being 'cheesy' on every album. This album especially has a focus on making me cringe. 'Starts With Nothing' is pretty basic and the lyrics are very repetitive (as with 'Kinda Girl You Are') and reach no new heights both lyrically and musically, it's pretty bland and the final two minutes can't make up for the disastrous first segments. 'Heard It Break' has a top40-esque introduction and the effected layered vocals just don't fit Kaiser Chiefs at all, this is no 'I Predict A Riot'.

'When All Is Quiet' sounds like a Pet Sounds rip-off, I'm having none of this. 'Cousin In The Bronx' has some typical Kaiser Chiefs guitar work and then the aching lyrics appear, "I should probably get a taxi home", how insightful. The bass work is actually outstanding and the synth line towards the left sticks out, but the vocals are overproduced and overused in modern music. The guitar sounds are too vague and bland, the whole track is one clusterfuck of Leeds chavs turned New York City kids. I'd rather not talk about 'Things Change' because it's absolutely awful. There, I mentioned it.. Moving on.

The standout tracks are the first two, 'Little Shocks' and 'On The Run'. Little Shocks has a lovely synthesizer riff and the vocals sit tightly upon the thunderous guitar work. It was released as a single in 2011 and is among the better Kaiser Chiefs songs. On The Run has the same style of structure with the drums being a focus. The vocals are neat and the chorus is a major improvement over anything else this album gives. It's pure Kasabian-core but it's not bad sounding. Other than these tracks, the album is pretty much, and I've used it to describe Kaiser Chiefs before, filler.

Terrible hooks and bland vocals complete this album. 'Man On Mars' has some aspiring production, but the guitars are in your face and characterized by the same effects used over and over again which just annoys me. If you told me this track was on their debut album, I wouldn't argue. It's just incredibly vague and meaningless. Who are they playing to here? They're clearly a singles band and reaching for a market in North America is as good as reaching for a market in Mogadishu. 'Problem Solved' has pathetic lyrics, they were never good for their lyrics.. Actually, they were never good. Then 'Can't Mind My Own Business' enters with it's regurgitated synthesizer which has little effect to the overall sound. The drumming is progressive and has been the standout throughout this album. The vocal sound withdrawn and they're not very clear at all. It's not often I'll tell you not to listen to an album.. But if I was you, I'd stay clear of Kaiser Chiefs from now on. They're certainly on their way down.


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