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You can'y beat a bit of good quality indie rock and West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum by Kasabian is a top quality album packed full of great tracks. It is the third album by the band who are an eclectic bunch of long haired rockers with a decent amount of facial hair.
The opening track sets the scene for what is a great album, Underdog starts with a twanging tinny guitar riff and has the real feel of an anthem with some inspirational lyrics, it is a track built around live performances and as such it is pure quality. One of the other singles to be released from the album Fire is another quality track, it feels like a Doors track to me, with haunting lyrics that build to a crescendo throughout the song with a constant beat under pining the lyrics.
There is a nice lot of variety on this album with some different styles blended in to the tracks, Vlad the Impaler has a great driving guitar lead beat to it and the duet of vocals works so well, this is another song that is great live and allows the band to let rip on stage. Swarfiga is more drum driven with frenetic lyrics that while not my favourite track is still a good high energy song.
Where Did All the Love Go is a slower track and one that has some excellent lyrics and one of my favourite sing along tracks on the album. I love the vocals on this song and it is one of teh strongest on the album.
1. "Underdog" 4:37
2. "Where Did All the Love Go?" 4:17
3. "Swarfiga" 2:18
4. "Fast Fuse" 4:10
5. "Take Aim" 5:23
6. "Thick as Thieves" 3:06
7. "West Ryder Silver Bullet" 5:15
8. "Vlad the Impaler" 4:44
9. "Ladies and Gentlemen, Roll the Dice" 3:33
10. "Secret Alphabets" (Pizzorno, Helmut Zacharias) 5:07
11. "Fire" 4:13
12. "Happiness" 5:16
I live the variety that can be found on this album and I find it hard to believe that it is actually almost three years old as I still listen to it on a regular basis, a greart band and a great album and a band that are well worth seeing live.
Kasabian, for me, were always one of those bands I was vaguely aware of but had dismissed for sounding too like Oasis. I never really got the hype, not until I bought the album "West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum" as a present for my boyfriend. I copied the album onto my MP3 player to give me something new to listen to if ever I got bored.
One day, with my MP3 on random, the song "Thick as Thieves" off of the album began playing - I had no idea who it was. It starts with a gorgeous plodding rhythm and old fashioned melody sounding slightly reminiscent of a tune you might here in a Greek restaurant. Cleverly the whole track is basically constructed by different guitar sounds from a very understated base, to a flower Spanish guitar melody to a proper twang sound similar to the sound you often find in Westerns. I decided I may have been to rash in dismissing Kasabian as an Oasis wanabee and listened to the rest of the album.
The album's name is taken from a mental institution in England in the 19th Century, the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum and each track on the album is supposedly meant to represent a different person in the asylum. The first track "Underdog" you may recognise as it has been used in Sony adverts on TV. It's certainly a good album opener; it has a big sound with lots of dirty synth and a compelling riff. However, for me, its one of the weaker tracks on the album, I find the melody to repetitive and the bridge a little messy.
The album gets infinitely better when it hits the next track "Where did all the love go?". I love the chorus which I defy anyone not to sing along with. There is also some fantastic little drum patterns smuggled beneath the melody.
For me, the album is elevated to greatness through the inclusion of the tracks "Thick as Thieves" and "Fire" which show two very different but equally fantastic sides of the band. "Thick as Thieves" is unique, quirky and infinitely cool. "Fire" is a born anthem, alternating between a funky verse with a Johnny Cash style vocal and an imposing chorus which sounds just a little similar to some classic Blur tracks in the 90s. An understated and fabulously simple bass riff which sets the whole thing off.
The album includes a number of other tracks that are well worth listening to, such as "Secret Alphabet" (a stunner) and "West Ryder Silver Bullet" which is worth a spin just to hear the actress Rosario Dawson's contribution to the track. I would ignore "Ladies and Gentlemen, roll the dice" which I find a boring dirge, only saved by the well written lyrics.
All in all, "West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum" is an album, which for me sets Kasabian apart. It crashed through my preconceptions and showed me that there is much more to Kasabian than a cheap Oasis copy. It's classy, accomplished and confident.
It's been a funny old ride for Kasabian. Their first album was much hyped and sold by the bucketload, and the world seemed to be their oyster. I liked it, but it was not without its flaws. They then went away and wrote a second album which for me was more rounded, but which never really scaled the heights of their debut effort. Many bands at that point might have drifted into relative obscurity at that point, but they went away, took stock, and came back with an album which is musically for me much more like their second than their first, yet suddenly they are back at the very top of the indie tree.
'Underdog' is a cracking start to the album, and 'Where Did all the Love Go?' is every bit as good. However an album needs more than two or three really good singles for it to be considered a classic, and I think that what Kasabian have managed to do for the first time in their careers is provide a supporting cast of tracks which are nearly as good. After the instrumental 'Swarfiga', 'Fast Fuse' keeps up the momentum built up in the early stages, a real toetapper before the pace initially slows a little with 'Take Aim', although it is only a couple of minutes of respite before the chorus kicks in and we are up and dancing again!
The first really reflective tune is next, and for me 'Thicks as Thieves' it is one of the relatively weak tracks, the sort of thing that might have been a B side for the Coral early in their career, although I am sure that the 'la la la la la'a probably provide a singalong when they play it live! Fortunately it is one of the shorter tracks, but then we have some spoken word at the start of the also quite average 'West Ryder Silver Bullet' which for me hints at the somewhat pretentious nature of this band, as already evidenced in the album title, you do wonder sometimes whether they are trying to be just a little bit too clever for their own good....
However with 'Vlad the Impaler' the momentum is regained, and in fine style too, a great track. Sadly it is followed by 'Ladies and Gentleman, Roll the Dice', the waekest track on the album, but that is quickly washed away by 60s psychadelia in the form of 'Secret Alphabets', and penultimate track 'Fire' was of course their comeback single and undoubtedly one of the highlights of the album. However I always think that the test of whether an album is really good is if you don't just skip from single to single (or never get beyond track 3 if they are all the start!), and this is certainly something which I have not found myself doing with this album.
For me 'Happiness' is not a particularly strong track to finish the album, but by then there has been enough to make this album worthy of the four star rating which I have given it. Not a classic, but well above average.
The Leicester band here offer a brilliant album, sounding like it is set in a 1970's movie. After a few years away, people wondered what Kasabian would come back with them, as they are after all, one of Britain's leading lights music wise. Who else better to take Oasis' crown of the premier British lads rock scene.
Opening with Underdog, the riff is an instant hook, as is the chorus, this is destined to be a live favourite on the upcoming tour. This song is one of the highlights of the album, if not the entire year of music, it packs a punch so strong but so accessible it is hard not to be swept up in the psychedelic feel of the song. Where Did All The Love Go? keeps up the frenetic pace, commenting on the yob culture. The melody and sound of the song are brilliant, but Kasabian should steer clear of talking about violence on the street and stick to what they're best at. Fast Fuse, a cut from a demo session years back makes it onto the album and again delivers a true bodyblow to the listener. Things eventually calm down through the middle salvo of Take Aim through West Ryder, the songs are good, but not as great as what has come before it.
Vlad the IMpaler and Fire are the two best songs on the album, both obvious live anthems, both songs are very intelligently written and have catchy chord and rhythm structures. Both are singalongs, and you really feel involved in the songs. Ending on Happiness is a stroke of genius, it is a soothing, relaxed songs, contemplating the frentic and sometimes bizzare songs before it. The choir is brilliant and completely unexpected and it's good to see the band experimenting.
Overall this album, has many more hits than misses, and even the misses could grace many others albums as highlights, they truly are in pole position to become the biggest band in Britain.
This 3rd album from the Leicester based band is certainly their best yet and arguably one of the best albums of the year. Lying somewhere between the techno, sound-effect driven 1st album and more mainstream, heavy rock of the 2nd, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum is an album of great dance-floor disco tracks with some great guitar hooks.
West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (try and say that 5 times in a row) is also a rather unusual concept album, named after a Yorkshire Mental Institution from the 1800s, with the intention that each song is based on a different inhabitant on the asylum. A clever concept, as it allows each song to be fairly diverse in style, tempo and content. Once you know this, the songs almost take on a deeper meaning. For instance, "Where did all the love go?" could be sung by an aging patient, who is singing nostalgically about the past, and this is reflected by the older, more traditional aspects of the music.
All the songs were written by the guitarist Sergio Pizzorno, and they are all pretty steller tracks. Mixing the more fast-paced, heavier tracks like "Fast Fuse" with the slower, more deliberate tracks like "West Ryder Silver Bullet."
Each song in its own right are good, but a few tracks stand out: "Vlad the Impaler" is a heavy, aggressive piece of rock, with catchy guitar riffs; the first track, "Underdog" sets preceedings for the evenings entertainment, estlablishing Pizzorno's ability as a true guitar hero, with Tom Meighan drawn out but engaging singing style; "Fire" somehow mixes a country-western style with a foot-stomping, jump-up-and-dance and simply brilliant chorus.
Overall, this is simply a great album. Some of these songs are classics which will be played through the years and, quite simply, is a must buy item.
Kasabian's Serge Pizzorno describes their latest hit album 'West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum' as the soundtrack to an imaginary film. It was produced by Dan The Automator (best known for his work with The Gorillaz) and was more than two years in the making.
I saw the video for their first single 'Fire', which featured the band holding up a bank with their guitars and stealing music scores instead of money (groan!) Although I thought the video was dire I really liked the track and downloaded it. The album was released a couple of weeks later, and after listening to the 30 second clips on itunes I downloaded the whole thing.
The cover is interesting. The concept is a fancy dress ball for the asylum inmates symbolising 'the escapism of madness'. The band are looking at themselves in a mirror, Tom Meighan is dressed as Napoleon, Serge seems to be Rasputin, Ian is possibly Henry VIII and Chris is holding a light bulb in his mouth through a bandanna. It's a shame we don't have massive vinyl album covers anymore as I'm sure it would look more striking than on a little ipod screen.
They use the same image, but in black and white, to promote the album in the press with a quote from William Burroughs, "Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead." I always find those 'sanity is overrated' quotes rather annoying, but it does effectively promote the 'Lunatic Asylum' theme.
Underdog- "Feels like I'm lost in a moment, I'm always losing to win"
This is a good upbeat opening track. The song is about an East End pub fighter, the lyrics are simple and powerful - but then that seems to be the standard for most Kasabian songs! It has had quite heavy airplay, and it was featured on the Sony Bravia advert.
Where did all the love go -
This is the second single from the album, and I prefer this version, the single version seems pared down and a little bit muted somehow. There is an eastern influence to the music and I like Serge's swooping backing vocals during the choruses.
Swarfiga- is a drum driven instrumental piece, it seems a bit pointless to me. I always skip it.
Fast Fuse- "Heaven may come and heaven may call but I won't be there."
For me this easily stands out as best track. Excellent power vocals from Tom Meighan, and it moves along at a furious pace, with Serge doing his banshee bit in the background. Fab!
Take Aim- "Drug them and give them star prizes, lock them away in high rises."
This is a dark and sinister track, and it features the best lyrics. The intro has obviously been 'borrowed' from 'Paint it Black.' It's the first track on West Ryder which features Serge on lead vocals and he makes a good job of it.
Thick as thieves- "There we were, thick as thieves, frightened by shadows and the autumn leaves"
Can I describe this as a Dickensian pop song? That's what it sounds like to me. It also sounds like they ripped off the tune from 'I'm Only Sleeping' and stole the la la la la bit from The Kinks, but whatever! The Italian sounding guitars on this track and a few others are probably a nod to Serge's Italian heritage, and Tom sounds a lot like David Essex on this track!
West Ryder Silver Bullet-
Starts with a spoken sample from Sans Soleil "In that moment poetry will be made by everyone, and there will be emus in the zone." I researched why they'd used this and discovered it was just an in-joke because apparently they use the phrase 'in the zone' a lot.
This song makes me smile. If Tarantino made a Western this song would be heading up the soundtrack! The actress Rosario Dawson contributes lyrics, and there is an almost cartoon-like loping clip-clop to the music, which for some reason reminds me of the 'sheriff droopy dog' cartoons!
Vlad the Impaler- "You can't miss me, I'm still alive"
Great title for a start, and the intro is like a punked up version of the 'Roobarb and Custard' theme tune! It's quite a dancey track in the Black Grape style. Serge Pizzorno was writing this at the time when Heath Ledger died, and he included the line "Joker I'll meet you on the other side" as a tribute. Noel Fielding starred as Vlad in a video they made for the song when they gave the single away free to their fans. Warning: after listening to this track you could have the refrain "Get loose, get loose" stuck in your head all day!
Ladies and gentlemen (Roll the dice)- "I tell you something isn't right, the way I'm feeling kept me up all night."
Kasabian takes on the power ballad. This is a flawless track, a real 'end of the night' kind of song. The music makes me think of the Twin Peaks intro.
I can't get into this. I've tried but I don't get it. It's sort of trippy and mystical with an eastern influence. The sound is like The Doors meet Stone Roses. It just seems a bit try-hard.
Fire- the infectious first single, it got to number three in the charts. I've read it described as sounding like two songs stuck together like The Beatles 'A Day in the Life' but it doesn't sound that jarring to me. Slow intense verses and soaring powerful choruses, accessorised with cheerful guitars and a funny twiddly bit in the middle.
Happiness- I have heard this track described as Primal Scream-esque, and also as sounding like 'Perfect Day'. It's another one I can't really get into. I think Serge's vocals are too weak. He sounds good when belting out the backing vocals for Tom, but he doesn't hit the mark here. The lyrics are too soppy for anything but a very masculine voice. Serge said in an interview that this song is the happy ending to his imaginary movie.
There are some epic songs on this album, the music is powerful and frantic, and you can play it in front of the kids - it's catchy and inoffensive. Kasabian cover several genres - alternative, dance, rock, pop - and carry them all off.
And just for fun, here are some of Serge Pizzornos thoughts on the new album.
'We know we've made the best album of the decade - if it doesn't sell who cares.'
'Sergeant Pepper made music for lonely hearts, we're making music for lunatics.'
'It's a punch in the stomach, a bullet between the eyes, the lyrics are almost like the Wu Tang Clan.'
'No-ones got the balls to do what we do. We've got our kahoonas out again.'
If that Spinal Tap style posturing hasn't convinced you to buy 'West Ryder' I don't know what will!
In 1999, 5 lads from Leicester decided that they would create a band, that one day will be internationally famous. They decided to name their band Kasabian.
The Band comprises of;
Tom Meighan their main vocalist
Christopher Karloff their guitarist and keyboardist
Sergio Pizzorno their guitarist and backing vocals
Chris Edwards their bassist
and Ash Hannis their drummer
I am definately not a fan of Indie Rock, or generally the music there is today, however i think i am warming up to this new band Kasabian.
I have been watching them recently on the Itunes Festival on the TV, and their music definately has some rhythm to it.
My two faviourite songs are probably Underdog and ClubFoot, which are both in this album.
Before I knew that this band existed, I constantly heard their music on all the radio channels and in shops. I was suprised however to know it was them.
I had heard talk about a new band from Leiceister, but I had no idea it was them.
Now for some background information. West Ryder Pauper, is an actual Lunatic Asylum located in Yorkshire in the 1800s. This is what Serio had to say about the place;
"The album isn't about the place, I just first heard about it on a TV documentary, and the words just struck me. I love the way it looked and the feeling it evokes. Apparently, it was one of the first loony bins for the poor, before that it was mainly rich people who got treatment."
The Album was released on the 5th of June 2009, and the genre of the music is mainly Electronica, neo-psychedelia and alternative rock.
I think this album definately has some interesting things on it and i think people should take a look at it. I think that this band will go far in the future, and i will hopefully go and see them live one day.
Strange name, Strange record. Kasabians third album is brave, inventive, diverse and not what anyone was expecting - exactly what rock bands should be doing! While Franz sound overly familiar and Bloc Party put out endless amounts of essentially similar records, Kasabian come up with this. Opener "Underdog" may sound like not much has changed, but from then on the songs hit their stride. "Where Did All The Love Go" and "Fire" produce the cannon fodder aimed directly at the charts, while "Secret Alphabets" and "Ladies and Gentleman" lower the tempo brilliantly in a way scarcely seen in previous albums (British Legion anyone?). "Vlad the Impaler" takes on the Beastie Boys, as mere songs later Sitars and Strings appear out of the instrumental melting pot. And while "Thick as Thiefs" and "Take Aim" fail to impress, and West Ryder/Silver Bullet is just terrible, West Ryder shows a band at full flow and confidence in what they're accomplishing. Download "Fire" "Secret Alphabets" and "Ladies and Gentleman."
The album is fantastic, is starts with the greatly titled Underdog, which seems to deliver an instant message about Kasabians rise to fame. The track perfectly sums up what the band are about, with fanatastic guitar playing, punchy vocals and lyrics and a little hint of electronic midway through.
The album is a greatly different style to their previous ones, and it has certainly paid off, the sound seems more natural and suits them far better. Vlad the Impaler, track 8, is fantastic, and something only a band like Kasabian could pull off, with the brilliant chorus, 'Get Loose' which is so easy to find yourself nodding your head along to.
Nearly all the songs seem to lift you, even slower tempo ones such as Fire, this makes it perfect for nearly any instance, particular when driving or getting ready to go out somewhere. The album also has a wonderful variety to it, with upbeat songs, retro ones, slow songs, making the whole thing excellent.
WOW! If you thought the first album was good this new offering from Kasabian will blow your mind. I was a distant fan as i really liked their first album self titled Kasabian as it was similar to The Stone Roses (which i was a massive fan of). A few good songs on the second album Empire was not enough to shout about, but West ryder pauper lunatic asylum brings the band out on their own merit making them stand out from the crowd. From the start Underdog and Where did all the love go grip you with original melodies normally reserved by bands like U2 and Oasis, Vlad the impaler is a sing-a-long anthem in itself but for me Fire was the song that had my hairs on my arm stand up due to the vocals of Tom and Serge and the backing singers. There are chilled out tunes in Thick as thieves and Happiness and trippy songs like Swarfiga and Secret alphabets. Overall i think this is going to be my Album of the year and it's only July. A must for any CD collection.
Kasabian are becoming a liability, in a good sense of course! They seem to be able to do no wrong, and this album is proof. Its the usual audio smack in the head that makes you stand up and start jumping about. the first track 'underdog' is a great opener, followed by the melodic 'where did all the love go', 'fast fuse' makes you want sprint up and down the street, stopping briefly to dance like Austin Powers! Vald the Impaler and Fire are obvious anthems. then the beautiful 'Secret alphabets'. you must must must own this album, if you have never bought a kasbian album before, this will make you buy the rest, it is a mix of Oasis, Prodigy, The Kinks and Steppenwolf, but medievil! you have to hear it to believe it!
The only way to describe this album is awesome, it ranges from quiet acouticy tracks to thundering tunes. The first two are great but i think that this is the best they have released so far, tracks like underdog and the first single fire are some of the more obvious listens, but overall the whole album is strong. Their live show too supports the idea that they are a really good band, and the more you listen to the album the more you realise the quality of the music.
The only thing that i was unsure about is some of the artwork didnt seem quite as good as the first two albums, however if you are getting the music off of itunes then this doesnt matter. And it is definitely not a reason not to buy it! just that is literally the only flaw i could find.
I've been listening to the album pretty much non stop for a week now, and still haven't got bored yet, and it doesn't look like i will!
they've done it again. kasabian appear to just keep going from strength to strength. this their 3rd studio album pretty much picks up where the mighty "empire" left which more catchy hooks, electronic beats and serge's lyrical prowess which borders on the insane. stand out tracks include the bluesy up tempo 'fast fuse', first single 'fire', the modern anthem 'underdog' (recently used on the sony advert featuring brazilian footballer Kaka) and my personal favourite and the one most reminiscent of vintage kasabian 'vlad the impale' (which you should really check out the video on their website or youtube and features Noel Fielding as the impaler himself!! the difference on this album that makes it standout and probably their 2nd best after their debut album is the non standout tracks like fast paced 'take aim' (which the drumming is superb) and the slow, western style 'thick as thieves'. kasabian continue to inspire with their mix of indie rock, electro, western, blues and just about anything else serge and co can think to throw into the mix. a must have for self respecting patron of good bands music collection, all that is left to be said is GO SEE THEM LIVE, THEY ARE EVEN BETTER!!!!!!
Kasabian are i think the best band of this generation i think they make some really fantastic music and its not just one off's like alot of bands today. kasabian have released many great songs andi think they will keep on doing so.
This album is just amazing and if you are a big fan of kasabian that is what you expect from them now because they are such a great band. I seen them perform some traks from this album at heaton park and i can honestly say they are better live than they are on CD. Songs such as Vlad the impaler, Fire, Underdog and where did all the love go are some great examples of very good songs from this album in fact i think i really like every song o this album.
If you are a fan of kasabian and havnt got this album i think you should really go out and buy it as i think it has some of there best songs to this very day on it.
It's been 5 years since Kasabian first graced the airwaves with the release of their self titled debut album. That was followed up with increasing success in 2006 by their second album Empire. Now 3 years since their last album the Leicestershire band are back with their 3rd and perhaps most eagerly anticipated albums yet. Over the years they seem to have made the transition from a band no one seemed to have heard of into one of the most in demand and popular bands in Britain at the moment.
Of course it just takes one listen to either of the bands previous albums to see why they are so in demand. That put a bit more pressure on them for the release of their 3rd album this year though, but it appears to have been pressure they've thrived under. It isn't the instant impact album the previous two had managed, this album is much more of a grower. It's taken me a couple of weeks to really get into it, but it's a far more mature sound and seems to really highlight the effort the band have put into getting things right.
Rather than stick to the tried and tested formula from the first two albums there is a far more experimental angle to this album. They have linked up with the producer of the original Gorillaz album, a man nicknamed Dan The Automator to try and ensure they achieved a different sound. It's an album that really highlights Serg and Tom's writing ability. The combinations of guitars, drums and Bass work particularly well. Throughout the album there are obvious influences from the Rolling Stones, The Kinks and even early Pink Floyd.
From the first listen it's clear that this isn't going to be an instant hit like the previous albums and even the vocals seem to be slightly different. Tom and Serg seem to have experimented with the vocal arrangement, with some very un Kasabian tracks like the album closer Happiness. While a few may find the vocals don't work, I've actually found myself appreciating them far more the more I listen to the album. It's important to remember, especially if you're a long term fan of the band, that they don't just want to create the same albums over and over again. They want to try something different and that's what this album is, it's different but it's fair to say that it works.
Despite everything I've said thought the album does still open with a decent, upbeat track just like the previous albums. There is a hypnotic beat to "Underdog" that means it wouldn't have been out of place on the previous couple of albums. It was certainly one of the tracks that grabbed me on my first listen and while a lot of the album took a bit of time to get into, I found an instant connection with "Underdog", "Vlad The Impaler" and the album's first single "Fire".
It's in tracks like "West Ryder Silver Bullet" and "Happiness" that the more experimental side of the album really comes out. In particular now I've found that I prefer a couple of these, slightly different tracks to the more traditional Kasabian tracks. In fact "West Ryder Silver Bullet" has a very hypnotic sound to it that seems to really make it appeal. It's a far more complex track and with a combination of effective vocals and haunting guitar riffs it works incredibly well.
Overall I think it's fair to say that this is another solid release from the Leicestershire boys. I'll admit that whilst it wasn't the instant hit the first 2 albums had been there is something about it that keeps you listening. They've mixed in a nice mixture of older styled tracks, with the new more experimental ones to keep everyone happy. I think it's fair to say that Kasabian have officially hit the mainstream and still making albums this good after 3 albums, it's fair to say they should be around for a long time to come.
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Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Where Did All The Love Go?
4 Fast Fuse
5 Take Aim
6 Thick As Thieves
7 West Ryder Silver Bullet
8 Vlad The Impaler
9 Ladies & Gentlemen (Roll The Dice)
10 Secret Alphabets