Kasabian: Empire

Big mouths, bigger tunes

A title of Wagnerian grandiosity – and lo, Kasabian rise to the challenge. “Stop!” barks Tom Meighan, dictator of his own death disco, “We’re all wasting away!” But the music, of course, says otherwise. A chrome-plated calling-card to their forthcoming September long-player of the same name, ‘Empire’ might just be Kasabian’s sturdiest, headiest moment to date – a slowly building beast of pulsing ‘XTRMNTR’ electronics and cocksure ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’ swagger that holds you in a death grip, massages your innards with dubby bass and seismic, two-note synthesizer and, finally, toasts your dying gasps with a morbid violin serenade.

With electroclash but a greying, forgotten line of washing powder chopped out on a toilet cistern and Primal Scream back sipping bourbon in the Rocks Off Saloon, there’s precious few bands around capable of fusing cool, electronic futurism with the attitude to unite ketamine-fulled clubbers and cider-spewing indie kids alike.

That’s the chasm Kasabian presently straddle like a colossus. And as swaggering baggy verse gives way to an unstoppable glam-rock death march of a chorus, ‘Empire’ conjures up visions of the Happy Mondays’ Bez recreated as a marauding metal giant, crushing fleeing pedestrians beneath his polished box-fresh trainers, levelling buildings flat with a pair of massive steel maracas. Let this be a warning to the naysayers. Kasabian: love them or hate them, you just can’t ignore them.

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