Yes, it's about time that I begin doing some real music magazine type work by reviewing a new album and what better album to take a look at than "The Future is Medieval", the fourth offering from everyone's favourite bunch of cynics, the Kaiser Chiefs?
Actually there is a few since I dream of working for K! who have never touched that group, but hey, I've been a long time fan since fist hearing "I Predict a Riot", so I had to get a hold of this album and see what I thought of it.
On the whole, I was very impressed. Their three year hiatus has clearly given them an opportunity to create something quite different to what the general public have gotten to know them for. And while the band do make occasional use of chart-friendly indie pop techniques, The track "Things Change" being a good example, it is more mixed in with a New Wave sound, due to their experimental and effective uses of keyboards and electronic synthesizers. As a result, many tracks are reminiscent of the work of Kasabian on their self-titled debut, such as the surreal "Man on Mars" and the slow paced electronica of "Out of Focus". Elements of New Wave can also be seen the ska-ish sound of "Coming Up for Air" and the gothic bonus track "City". Frequent use of distorted guitar introduces elements of noise rock onto "The Future is Medieval" best seen in tracks like "Little Shocks" and "Starts with Nothing" as well as "Dead or In Serious Trouble" which reminded me of a fuzz-rock version of Biffy Clyro's "The Captain".
Some tracks stood in in their unexpectedness. Though I should have expected a track like "Heard it Break" on a New Wave inspired album, I was not imaging a genuine dance-rock sound. The bizarre keyboard and synth usage of the tracks reminds me of the backing music to a song one may find on Panic! At the Disco's A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, without any use of guitars or actual drums. Looking at past Kaiser Chiefs albums, I should have also expected the acoustic, folk rock love song "If You Will Have Me", which is not so spectacular as acoustic ballads go.
Overall, however, I thoroughly enjoyed the Kaiser Chief's latest offering. It was more experimental than previous efforts and is also pretty fun to listen to, due to the sheer catchiness that can be felt from almost all the tracks. Also, it's an alternative rock album, that occasionally gets a bit heavy. So what's not to like about it? The medieval times seemed to bleak and dark, but I would say the future of the Kaiser Chiefs is looking in the opposite way.