It’s been three years since 2014’s 48:13 and that headline slot on Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage. So are Kasabian ready to wind things down with their sixth studio album, For Crying Out Loud? Hell no.
“Wow!” screams vocalist Tom Meighan as the needle first drops on opening track, ‘Ill Ray (The King)’. Wow indeed. Fast-paced, aggressive and arrogant, both in music and lyrics, this opener could rival ‘Club Foot’ for kick-starting a record.
But the album quickly takes a smooth turn into ‘You’re In Love With A Psycho’ – a nod to the band’s third album West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum. This is more head bopper than head banger, along with the equally groovy ‘Good Fight’, ‘Sixteen Blocks’ and ‘Are You Looking For Action?’
Yet the typical football-hooligan-rock remains, in the rousing ‘Comeback Kid’ and the insanely repetitive yet catchy ‘Twentyfourseven’. “Yeah, we’re all mad in England / The city’s crumbling,” growls Meighan, triggering another West Ryder… flashback before he bursts into yet another chorus of “Twenty-four seven, twenty-four seven, twenty-four seven.”
This album is more traditional Kasabian than 48:13, with all but one of the 12 songs fitting comfortably in the 3/4 minute range, and not an interlude in sight.
Guitarist and songwriter Serge Pizzorno claims he had finished the record last May, having written and recorded the entire thing within six weeks, but delayed the release so the band could have a summer off. In the end, the release was delayed a full 12 months because of Kasabian’s insistence that this was a summer record. And too right.
You won’t find a Kasabian tune more fit for a summer anthem than the penultimate track; ‘God Bless This Acid House’, a hedonistic celebration of shirking all responsibility in favour of having a good time. “I see my friends in all our numbers / Rip up my plans, nothing matters,” brags Meighan, channelling the inner carefree child in all of us. You know, the one who has just finished that final exam of the school year and runs outside into the sun, launching all their notes into the air.
Yet lyrically, For Crying Out Loud seems more sensitive than previous Kasabian records. In between talk of fights and insanity, the band mention women and emotions. None more so than in final song ‘Put Your Life On It,’ a ballad in which Meighan pleads for a woman to gamble on his love, showing fans another side to the Leicester band’s capabilities.
“If I had my way, be king for a day,” claimed the fictional Ill Ray in the opening track. Kasabian have had their day for 13 years so far, and they don’t look like stopping any time soon.