Kasabian - The West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum

Paul Cook 07/06/2009

Rating: 4/5

It has been two and half years since the release of Kasabian's somewhat lacklustre sophomore album Empire and thus almost five years since the swagger and effortlessness of the band's blistering debut. Third time round the band have respectfully hit a middle ground. The West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum is a return to the punchy, confident riffs and smooth, ├╝ber-cool basslines of the debut and a move away from the baffling, experimental and wayward ramblings of Empire.

Beginning with the jaggedy, confidence and lyricism of Underdog the album undulates between the energetic, Oasis-like arrogance of Where Did All The Love Go to the folk-tinged, slickness of Thick as Thieves. This and following track West Ryder Silver Bullet could easily be found comfortably ambling there way through a Sergio Leone modern-day Western, atmospherically conjuring up visions of a dusty, deserted town.

Orchestral additions and psychedelic electronic jabs are weaved subtly into the slowly building Take Aim and organ-tinged Secret Alphabets before returning to full throttle rock riffs that made stand out tracks Empire and Club Foot splendidly care free. Fire has a simple yet effective toe-tapping rhythm echoing a return to form for Leicester's best-known 5-piece.

Fast Fuse would slot perfectly into an episode of Shameless with its mixture of raw guitar riffs and mischievous piano accompaniment whilst Vlad the Impaler, again utilising the synth-organ and heavily distorted guitars, is as lyrically impressive and infectious as Underdog and earlier tracks Processed Beats and L.S.F.

The West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, although not quite strutting as confidently as the likes of debut album track Butcher Blues still marks a blinding return to form. Walking basslines, spot-on experimental additions and particularly solid lyrical efforts are sprinkled over 12 tracks full of nostalgia for their refreshing eponymous debut album. Kasabian are most definitely back with a point to prove.

The West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum is released on 8th June