Kaiser Chiefs: Ruby
The Monkeys’ (sort of) uncles return with a real gem
Can it really only be 18 months since Ricky Chief rode Britpop 2 to orgasm at Glasto, mounted on the back of an inflatable Brontosauraus? Sigh. Since then – having hoovered up more Ivor Novellos and NME Awards than Noel Gallagher’s cleaning lady – Leeds’ finest have maintained a low profile, looking on as labelmates The Automatic have taken their chirpy, big-chorus formula to unparalleled heights.
Not that New Yorkshire’s finest ever seemed likely to ‘do a Darkness’. A rollicking guitar-pop hit in classic Kaisers mode, ‘Ruby’ comes from the same numbskull school of pop composition as Oasis’ ‘Lyla’. Which, in roadie speak, means putting a bird’s name in the title rarely fails.
Starting with the riff to The Faces ‘Stay With Me’, it morphs into an ‘Oh My God’-style stomper, where Ricky discovers that being famous means he’s falling for the sort of woman not usually found on the night bus. “Could it be that you’re joking with me/And you don’t really see you and me”, he pleads, and the vulnerability which endeared us t’Chiefs in the first place is suddenly re-instated.
While all this may not sound too zeitgeistular, it’s a sign the Kaisers have both grown musical muscles and exited Novelty Island in the nick of time. Big and clever, the Kaisers won’t be going the way of the dinosaurs for a while yet.