Kaiser Chiefs - Off With Their Heads

2008-12-05 10:34
 
Kaiser Chiefs
 
Listening to their early hit “Everyday I Love You Less and Less” is to have your proverbial pants set on fire. Even the most arthritic war veteran will get up out of their seat to jump up and down and, for a few minutes at least, feel like a boozed-up yob again. Great fun.

Their witty, pop-friendly approach to songwriting is maintained with Off With Their Heads but too often, they end up a riff and a punch line short of a good song. Preaching “Jaguar shoes is a place you can stare / A procession of lessons in what not to wear” is well and good in a freestyle rap battle, but set to Nick Baines’ abrasive keyboard they just don’t impress.
When they’re not winking at the chart success of “Ruby”, a little room is left for older influences to come out and play. Is it just us, or is it that pinch of Beatlemania that gives “Remember You’re A Girl” its more than palatable flavour? Maybe, but stints of proto-rock ‘n roll organ here and there also mark some of the better material; here's hoping these experiments continue into the next album.

And as much as we like to see these DIY musicians really having a go at their instruments for a change – as Simon Rix does on bass – the record imposes way too much structure, and a minimum of lyrical imagination, to a party band formula that deserves better. Not without its moments (“Never Miss A Beat” comes to mind), Kaiser Chiefs’ latest just doesn’t quite manage to get the whole pub singing along, and that’s not havin’ a larf, is it?

- Niel Bekker
Lads from Leeds havin’ a larf. Tongue in cheek pop rock for a “What, me worry?” indified middle class. Yeah, Kaiser Chiefs are all these things, but they just don’t quite rock the pub anymore.


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