- 09 Aug 19
Neither kings nor kaisers.
The NME-fuelled UK guitar scene of the noughties has long been laid to rest in critical eyes, brutally condemned by the condescending "landfill" indie moniker.
Some acts rumble on - godspeed, Maxïmo Park - but the one that stands strongest today always stood out. Kaiser Chiefs were willing to eschew indie cred by bestowing on us huge - if not always especially original - choruses, ripe for big singalongs at Reading and Leeds.
It's this ear for a pop hook that drove 'I Predict A Riot' and 'Ruby' into the wider public consciousness, and eventually landed frontman Ricky Wilson a job playing the Bressie role as judge on the UK's version of The Voice.
The choruses live on, then, but the band's latest long-playing outing, Duck, hints at more substance this time around. Wilson has been vocal about the anxieties that come with TV work, admitting to The Guardian that it led to a drinking problem. That's hinted at on 'Lucky Shirt' - "I never feel like the party's over" goes the refrain - while 'Wait' wittily addresses the problem of slimming down for the cameras: "Got 99 problems/Every one of them with a flake."
Closer 'The Battle For Seattle' is a sort of love letter to touring, which Wilson has said he uses as a coping crutch. On one level, Duck offers a fresh collection of choruses to keep the arenas happy. But it is a bit more than that too.
OUT NOW 6/10