Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (RCA)
I am not sure who gets the credit for this, but I am loving the influence late-60s cinema rock is having on the modern musical palette. I am talking about the big beat, organ heavy pop that provided the rock and roll backdrop to many-a-teen movie in the 60s. It was supposed to sound like the bands that made up the era’s Hit Parade, but because it was generally written, produced and recorded by session players looking for a few more bucks, it took on a particularly polished personality. All the fuzzy guitars and back beats were there, but this wasn’t music made by scruffy twenty-somethings living the high life in the English country, it was American musical day laborers who had their own particular understanding of youth culture and the music business. THAT music has been creeping into recent releases (most often produced by or somehow associated with Danger Mouse) and I love it.
Kasabian, and producer Dan the Automator, are clearly watching the same movies. With their third album the band most often hitched to early Stone Roses or Primal Scream has expanded a bit and looked even further back. Sure, there’s plenty of Madchester influence still but now there’s something deeper, something from a more dense record collection. Not satisfied with simply cranking out more mechanical dance rock, Kasabian is now touching up their sound with big ass Hammond organs and creepy orchestration. There are the North African rhythms and melodies that made all those soundtracks mentioned above seem so mysterious at the time.
What’s still there is the drone-y vocals and trippy lyrics. My love for druggy music is well documented on this site so it should come as no surprise that I’d be all into a band like Kasabian. If you’re looking for carefully crafted pop songs with big hooks and clever refrains, this is not your bag. If you’re living in the hills and waiting for your friends to show up with bags of dope and naked girls, this might be your thing. I am more of the former but love watching from afar the drama of the latter. This is my soundtrack.
Video: Kasabian – “Fire”