Kasabian‘s Velociraptor! contains the greatest variety of sounds and influences the British rockers have released to date. And that level of diversity can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, the tracks are mixed just right to allow the album to remain, well, mostly connected. Overall, Velociraptor! is about action and movement. At times it feels like each song moves through a different territory; other times it feels surprising, alien and other-worldly.  In fact, we almost expect to hear some of these songs accompanying the next episode of Terra Nova. Maybe it goes back to the album’s title, which even dons an exclamation point. Or maybe it’s something else…

“Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To” is a snappy and cinematic beginning to the album, with a catchy swell–rhythmically familiar yet refreshingly foreign. “Days Are Forgotten,” burnished and autumnal, is our favorite track because we can’t quite wrangle it into the realm of understanding. Take out the annoying holler-sing background at the bridge, and “Days” would be an unblemished masterpiece, its apocalyptic lyrics “now it’s all over” feeling somehow eerily nostalgic. But it’s not the only track laced with that sort of nostalgia–”Goodbye Kiss” is the perfect romance, an opposing force weaved gently into the surrounding tracks. ”Acid Turkish Bath” sounds like a sitar played simultaneously with an old Armageddon soundtrack (or maybe Jurassic Park?). Every sound has its place. Their latest single “Re-Wired,” which is less rambunctious than their ravenous title track, contains a sample of the diversity that invades the entire album all mashed into one single–a single, we note, that really works as an accurate representative sample of the whole.

“Switchblade Smiles” has an unignorable techno pulse beneath intercomed vocals and a dreamy chorus while “Neon Noon” is the typical happy ending, suddenly tinged with an eagerness for resolution that is ultimately withheld from us. Perhaps that will just keep us looking forward to their next album. But the most surprising elements of the album, ironically, aid in propelling this idea of dinosaur-like stomping and prowling.  ”La Free Verte,” (meaning “The Green Fairy”) is like an absinthe-laden vision, and the only part of the album we feel comfortable calling pretty. Beautiful acoustic strumming and beatles-esque story-telling finally give way to video-game bloops, jumping directly into the title track, which has a wry use of the word “man” and an energy that is the crux of the album for a reason–it’s danceable, jumpable, head-boppable, and unmistakably pop-friendly. We reiterate that, at times, the album seems to drift off in too many directions, and we’re not crazy about the unresolved end, but we applaud Velociraptor! for its memorable lyrics, catchy beats, and playful take on a serious theme.

Purchase Velociraptor! on Amazon for $18, or snag a digital download of the album on iTunes for $7.99.

Rating: 7/10

Tracklist:

  1. Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To
  2. Days Are Forgotten
  3. Goodbye Kiss
  4. La Fee Verte
  5. Velociraptor!
  6. Acid Turkish Bath (Shelter From The Storm)
  7. I Hear Voices
  8. Re-Wired
  9. Man of Simple Pleasures
  10. Switchblade Smiles
  11. Neon Noon