Kasabian are back.
And more importantly, it’s the real Kasabian who have returned, ditching the slightly more experimental efforts of their previous album, 48:13, to go back to what they do best – swaggering, energetic, indie-rock music.
Songwriter Serge Pizzorno says this album is “about saving guitar music from the abyss” and while this is a classic guitar-led album, it would be fair to call it more of a rock-pop crossover.
If anything, some of the songs are a little too radio friendly.
Tracks like Bless this Acid House and Comeback Kid hit all the right pop notes but miss the menace and growl that laced their early hits and made them so visceral.
For the most part, they balance their feelgood manifesto with Tom Meighan’s snarling vocals well, nowhere more so than on the album’s lead single, the playfully toe-tapping In Love with a Psycho.
And they still leave room for some curveballs. Just as the all-out rock-pop assault is in danger of growing stale, they throw in Are You Looking for Action? – an eight-minute, disco-infused, bass-driven jam session. With a saxophone.
It’s followed by All Through The Night, a stripped back largely acoustic number that recalls early Beatles.
It’s easy to pigeonhole Kasabian as post-Britpop throwbacks, but it’s this sort of flexibility that has set them apart from other classic Brit-rock bands of recent years.
And in a music world full of nice-guy Ed Sheeran-types, the anarchist, devil-may-care attitude Kasabian inherited from the Gallaghers seems needed now more than ever.