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West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum

Stonking new record from former Lad rockers. Who’d have thought?

Rating: 8 / 10

Edwin McFee, 29 Jun 2009

At this stage, we know exactly what we’re getting with a Kasabian record, right? Wrong. Three albums in, the Leicester outfit have decided to knock the loutish lad rock aimed at Stella-swigging Oasis fans on the head.

West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum is as convention bucking as they come. From the acid-fuelled, spacey music to the camp cover sleeve to the very title of the slab of wax, all bets are off in the Kasabian camp.

The first four tracks are pure dynamite – ‘Underdog’ is a skewed, slinky beast of a song; ‘Where Did The Love Go’ is all jagged and bruised; ‘Swarfiga’ is a triumphant call to arms; and ‘Fast Fuse’ is possibly the best three minutes the band have committed to tape thus far. It’s not all weird experimentation though – ‘Thick As Thieves’ is a familiar Kinks-like stomp and recent single ‘Fire’ is classic Kasabian. It’s safe to say that some of the band’s fans might be alienated by the oddness of the record and songs like ‘West Ryder Silver Bullet’ (featuring guest vocals by Hollywood chanteuse Rosario Dawson) and ‘Happiness’ might be a little too jarring for a more pedestrian musical palate. But that’s their loss really.

Key Track: ‘Fast Fuse’

Rating: 8 / 10
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