Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kasabian ‘Velociraptor!’



Turns out that defiant swagger, festival-filling anthems, and snarling melodicism aren’t the only things that Kasabian learned from Oasis. The British rockers have also got the melody-borrowing bug. Listening to “Velociraptor!,’’ Kasabian’s fourth album, you’ll spend half the time trying to figure out the melodic quotation. Sometimes it’s easy, like the breezy ’60s psychedelic tones of “Le Fee Verte,’’ where the band sings about “Lucy in the sky.’’ “Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To’’ lifts the melody from 1980s dance pop hit “Let the Music Play’’ or whatever mystical Eastern musical mode it came from originally. “Switchblade Smiles’’ has pounding hip-hop beats under triumphant cinematic strings, like the soundtrack to a Hong Kong martial arts blockbuster. “Days Are Forgotten’’ churns on threatening bass loops that open up to expansive choruses before tightening on a hairpin turn. “Goodbye Kiss’’ is the rare acoustic, relatively slower, “sensitive’’ number that crests on a simplistic retro-girl band romance vibe. Brain tickling aside, this is a supremely enjoyable, stylish, and modern-sounding record, which isn’t easy to pull off for a guitar band with a tendency to look backward. (Out today) ESSENTIAL “Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To’’

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