Album Review: Kasabian – For Crying Out Loud

The Leicester stadium giants triumphantly return on a joyous and uplifting sixth album whilst declaring themselves as the “saviours of guitar rock.”

Kasabian For Crying Out Loud

It’s been thirteen years since Leicester rock giants Kasabian, led by Tom Meighan and Sergio Pizzorno, released their self-titled debut album. Since then they’ve gone on to headline arenas and festivals around the world and dazzle millions with their addictive style of guitar rock which is based upon huge riffs and a sensational live show. On the band’s sixth studio album, the four piece go back to their roots of guitar music, ditching the flashy and highly experimental electronic sounds of 2013’s 48:13. For Crying Out Loud was recorded mostly during an intense six week writing period, in which the band came out with ten of the twelve album tracks. From the start, Pizzorno knew the sound he was looking for, opting for a more basic approach to production, restricting synths and loops and allowing guitar and piano to be the main driving forces on the album.

A key feature of the album was the decision by the four piece to move back towards their traditional stadium rock sound, a sound which is deeply embedded within this album. Opening track Ill Ray (The King) is a rowdy, triumphant rock track, full of braggadocio with goading lyrics “Oh wow, what’s your band called mate? / Well what’s your band called mate?” throwing shots at anyone in their way. Line “We got the night / We got the world” soars upon the thrashing chorus which rises and falls and carries a slight hip hop feel to the track. Kasabian are known for their huge starts to albums and this fails to disappoint. The second single from the album, Comeback Kid, also sees Meighan and Pizzorno’s swaggering personalities infiltrating the track. A triumphant brass section introduces the track in style. The big sing-along chorus rallies far and wide like a call to arms whilst bursts of heavy bass break down the verses into a slow and swaggering groove. Whilst swirling keyboard accelerates wonderfully, the foot-stomping track is a celebration of the band’s status as outsiders and releases the fighting spirit within them. The more straightforward, stadium rock of Twentyfourseven deals with the bombardment of information in today’s society and the inability to escape from it. Lyrics “You’re trying hard to just be someone” / “Toss and turning in your bed / There’s no escaping from what’s in your head” capture the restlessness of the track whilst the scuzzy guitar solo and backing vocals add another musical dimension to the track. It’s a call to arms that unleashes Kasabian’s typical party vibe from the start.

Kasabian NMF

Guitarist Serge Pizzorno found himself turning back to the music of the 1960’s and 1970’s on the new record, stating that the two decades worth of guitar music, ingenious song craft, groove and punk attitudes were huge influences on the production and musicality upon For Crying Out Loud. You’re in Love With a Psycho is a 70’s rock and roll track which takes a shuffling drum beat before injecting an irresistible groove to take over the track. Reminiscent of Blondie, it’s seductive and playful and carries a rougher edge than the majority of the album. The T Rex sounding Good Fight has a 60’s feel, taking a bouncier groove to give a more pleasurable listen. The inclusion of drum clicks, improvisational keys and handclaps plus the increased percussion usage give the song a sing-along vibe, almost as if the band had just picked up their instruments and jammed. Bless This Acid House was declared by the band as being one of the greatest tracks they had ever written. The 70’s glam rock track takes influences from Bruce Springsteen and The Ramones and it’s uplifting nature carries the potential of being the band’s next great anthem. Full of throwbacks and reminiscence, it’s a smooth summer track and ultimately a wonderful feel good anthem.

Whilst guitar rock is a staple throughout the album, there are moments to pause and reflect. The Party Never Ends is the first proper ballad on the record. It’s acoustic, Latin feel is plaintive whilst lyrics “We spend all our nights drinking Patrón / Under shark infested skies” callback to times spent with close friends. Further reminiscence occurs on All Through the Night, which is the most stripped back track on the album. Lines “I’m tired of sleeping in the day / Tried to look the other way / All I ever hear is you call my name” are gentle in delivery and pull on the emotional chord of fans and the band alike. It’s a beautiful moment of reflection and allows time for listeners to recover from the energy that’s ignited elsewhere on the record.

Whilst returning to their roots of stadium rock, the band veer off into a few other directions such as in the reggae infused Sixteen Blocks which stalks at a slow, staggered pace whilst remaining rich with texture and offbeat percussion. With additional whistling and a repeating hook, the track is a great surprise for fans. Both Wasted and The Party Never Ends carry a distinctive Latin feel to the tracks but it is the lengthy Are You Looking for Action? that remains the most experimental track on the record. A shuffling, punk funk track with elements of disco, it allows fans to see the more experimental side of Kasabian which is displayed heavily in their more electronically based albums.  The second half of the eight minute track is expansive and spacious with flourishing saxophone coming to the fore and making the song one of the best on the album.

kasabian-to-headline

Kasabian have remained positively light heated throughout their career, which is probably one of the main reasons as to why their music retains a huge sense of joy and satisfaction for fans. Humour is a key ingredient within the band and this characteristic flows through For Crying Out Loud. Whether it’s the commanding, goading line “Now go fetch me a milkshake don’t forget the straw” from Ill Ray (The King) or the more unconventional description “I’m like the taste of macaroni on a seafood stick” from You’re in Love With a Psycho, Kasabian’s wit is clearly apparent. Even the emphatic Comeback Kid, a celebration of the band’s underdog status manages to be boastful in a comedic way. Lyrics “Big cheese in a bedsit” sit perfectly on the tongue, but still highlight Kasabian’s ability to keep true to their roots. They still record and base themselves in their hometown of Leicester and remain firmly loyal to the city.

There is an inherent sense of solidarity on this record, one that connects the band even more to their fans. Many of the tracks on For Crying Out Loud have a resonating, communal feel to them such like Comeback Kid’s fighting spirit, Good Fight’s written-in-the-moment feel and Bless This Acid House’s summer chorus. Closing track Put Your Life on It epitomises this theme, becoming Kasabian’s Hey Jude moment with it’s stomping, campfire styled calm rock tugging at the heartstrings of all listening. Lyrically, it’s one of the most honest track’s that the band have ever written and with Serge declaring that the romantic lyrics were written for his wife, it’s a beautiful closing track to an album that flows perfectly from start to end.

There is no denying that For Crying Out Loud returns to Kasabian’s glory days at the start of their career, free flowing and energetic whilst packing a seismic punch in terms of noise. Lyrically humorous and honest, it’s the best complete record since their 2004 debut and one that looks set to take stadiums and festival stages by storm.

9/10

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