At first sight of Kasabian’s fourth album, Velociraptor!, I prepared to have my head bitten off with ferocious beats due to the screaming cover art and enigmatic title complete with exclamation mark! At first listening, however, the album doesn’t rip you apart and redecorate your front room in several shades of red, but hypnotizes you with intricate melodies.
They haven’t lost touch with what people want to hear from them (unlike the Arctic Monkeys). ‘I Hear Voices’ and ‘Switchblade Smiles’ are reminiscent of early Kasabian. They still have great beats that stick in your brain with gecko-like grace, and will be big crowd pleasers. However, they are simplistic and lack the subtler touches of other tracks on the album, though these are the ones that will be demanding sing-alongs during gigs: ‘Can You Feel It Coming?’ I can!
The subtler touches show through on “Acid Turkish Bath” with Middle Eastern sounds mixed with electric guitar and thunderous strings. A highlight! The album successfully jumps through several eras of music, blending all together with chameleonic style. Going from 60’s rock (‘La Fee Verte’) to electro rock (‘Velociraptor!’), they even manage to fit in a ballad for Tom Meighan. ’Goodbye Kiss’ demonstrates further their maturity towards creating music. A tyrannosaurus track on the album is ‘Re-Wired,’ a beautiful mix of classic Kasabian and well crafted melody.
Velociraptor! makes them a more developed band but still in need of more gestation-time to become a true ‘Jurassic Park’, in the running for biggest band in the world. This album, however, won’t be the launching platform. Although it will please Kasabian fans with its marching pace and big club tunes, this is not a masterpiece. But it should produce a few big singles and could still be in the running for album of the year.