Over fifteen years and six albums, Leicester lads Kasabian have set about creating an empire (pun intended) of hedonism and a particular strain of exuberance – one where giddy kicks are the order of the day and the line between naff and cool is regularly crossed. They’ve swaggered down different avenues of their kingdom along the way – 2004’s self-titled debut is baggier and more Hacienda-indebted; 2014’s ‘eez-eh’-producing ‘48:13’ found songwriter Serge Pizzorno going full-on ludicrous Nutty Professor – but, all in all, Kasabian have always been about perfecting the art of the good time rather than smashing down the sonic walls around them.
On ‘For Crying Out Loud’ they regularly hit their dizziest heights yet. Have Kasabian lyrically learnt from the whole “horsemeat in the burgers” thing? Of course not. Within the first 10 minutes of the record, we’re treated to an array of strangely food-centric one-liners including “Now go fetch me a milkshake / don’t forget the straw” (‘Ill Ray (The King)’) and “I’m like the taste of macaroni on a seafood stick” (‘You’re In Love With A Psycho’). Best of all is a ridiculous bit during the aforementioned ‘Ill Ray’ when singer Tom Meighan repeatedly jeers “what’s yer band called, mate?” like a pissed uncle down the local.
Does it matter? Fuck no. If you’re listening to Kasabian for their sage pearls of wisdom at this point, then they’re not for you. As it always has been, the band’s prerogative is to bring as many people as possible together for a communal Big One and on ‘FCOL’ the party’s bigger than ever. ‘Twentyfourseven’ takes about fifteen seconds to come in with an almighty drop, while ‘Wasted’ takes the Style Council’s ‘Beat Surrender’ and sets in the middle of a late night knees up on a tropical island. The propulsive, percussive, Serge-led ‘Are You Looking For Action’ is a wavy call to mischief set in a dystopian carnival, while ‘Bless This Acid House’ is an utterly ludicrous arms-round-ya-mates singalong.
While Kasabian have been writing massive ones expressly designed to set the festival field on fire for years now, in ‘Ill Ray’ and apocalyptic new live favourite ‘Comeback Kid’ they outdo themselves. The former has about nine different drops, upping the anti to monstrous levels, while the latter feels like the four horseman could be rounding the corner at any moment. Even the line “Sasquatch in a bin bag / Nosebleed in a pound shop” is forgiven.
15 years in and with no sign of slowing or calming down, Kasabian don’t have to prove anything anymore. If you’re not on board, it’s frankly your loss.