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Reprogrammed Brit-pop

The Sights

Kasabian - Kasabian
(RCA Records)
3 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: April 12, 2005

Review by Tony Bonyata

Bucking the trend of young indie bands mining the neo-new wave sounds of the '80s, the Leicester U.K.-based band Kasabian have, nonetheless, taken some of the elements of that decade (most notably an overabundance of electro soundscapes and processed blips and beeps) and added them to a decidedly more modern English style of guitar-driven pop rock.
While vocalist Tom Meighan has brashly spouted off in the press how sick they are of the "American three-minute garage-rock [expletive]" this quartet's music is anything but a revelation. Their sound wades waist deep in British bands before them, such as The Verve (on the hip-hop beat driven "Running Battle"), Oasis (on the slow sensual build of "I.D." and "Butcher Blues"), the Happy Mondays (on the hypnotic groove and heavy riffing "Club Foot") and even the Swedish band, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, who've nicked a musical shilling or two from Brit popsters (on the peppy classic rock influenced "Reason Is Treason"). Likewise, the band hasn't made any efforts to scrub away the deeply imbedded stains of The Stones Roses from their sleeves either.
But with buzzing guitars, percolating beats and an undercurrent of swirling synthetic psychedelia bubbling to the top of these anthemic pop songs, Kasabian still somehow manages to sound fresh despite the aforementioned influences.
The album isn't without fault, however, as numbers such as the heavy-handed instrumental "Ovary Stripe" along with the atmospheric "Orange " and "Pinch Roller" are nothing more than exercises in sleepy electro-self indulgence.
After the rise and fall of Brit-pop, Kasabian, along with fellow U.K. compatriots The Cooper Temple Clause, are working on reprogramming pop rock for a new generation of indie kids ready to mix it up on the dance floor.

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