Kaiser Chiefs - Employment
Review by Jack Foley
THE Kaiser Chiefs have proved, with their first two singles, that they are one of the most diverse bands around at the moment.
Barnstorming indie anthem, I Predict A Riot, was one the most rousing guitar anthems of recent years, while Oh My God! contained elements of The Beta Band mixed with indie and punk sensibilities.
The two tracks couldn’t be more different in musical style but both contained an infectious energy that helped to mark the Leeds-based band out as another of 2005’s hot tips.
Their potential is fully realised in debut album, Employment, which will surely rate as one of the most carefree, energetic and shamelessly feel-good of the year.
The album is shot full of the band’s influences, from 80s guitar rock, punk and indie to 1990s Britpop (circa early Blur) and 21st century pop, making each track a new adventure just waiting to be discovered.
What’s more, each musical journey is infused with a great deal of humour, no matter what the tempo or the theme.
I Predict A Riot, for instance, is an amusing depiction of a typical night out Up North, complete with mindless violence, heavy drinking and the odd bent copper, which is given a sing-along feel thanks to the rousing ‘la, la, las’ that the band isn’t afraid to throw in.
Likewise, the giddily insane Na Na Na Na Naa, which recalls the early punk rock-outs of Blur, or the glorious opening track, Everyday I Love You Less and Less, which contains such lyrical genius as ‘it makes me sick to think of you undressed’ and ‘you’re turning into something I detest’.
Every Day.., especially, combines the 80s feel of Adam & The Ants with more recent revivalist fare from the likes of Dogs Die In Hot Cars and Hot, Hot Heat.
Yet it provides an effective showcase for all of the band’s strengths – from Ricky Wilson’s manic vocal style, to Andrew ‘Whitey’ White’s guitars and Nick Nick ‘Peanut’ Baines’ lively keyboards (not forgetting Nick Hodgson’s drums and Simon Rix’s bass).
The Kaiser Chiefs are also capable of slowing things down, however, during tracks such as Modern Way, which emerges as a triumphantly melodic observation on Wilson’s disenchantment with love. It rates as another album highlight.
Strong, too, is the charming You Can Have It All, which contains another great chorus, and the piano-led anthem, Born To Be A Dancer, which finds the band at their most reflective.
And the influences keep on coming, with the opening moments of What Did I Ever Give You recalling memories of DJ Shadow’s sublime Organ Donor, before settling into another Blur-like chorus, complete with Coxon-inspired guitar riffs.
It’s a measure of Kaiser Chiefs’ success, however, that they stamp their own signature on everything they do, making Employment one of the first great breakthrough albums of the year so far.
Expect it to feature prominently throughout 2005.
1. Everyday I Love You Less and Less
2. I Predict A Riot
3. Modern Way
4. Na Na Na Na Naa
5. You Can Have It All
6. Oh My God
7. Born To Be A Dancer
8. Saturday Night
9. What Did I Ever Give You?
10. Time Honoured Tradition
11. Caroline, Yes
12. Team Mate