Album review of 'Off With Their Heads' by Kaiser Chiefs.
The successor to 2007's "Yours Truly, Angry Mob", this is the third album from the Leeds quintet who are named after a South African football team. Featuring Mark Ronson on production duties, the band recently won Best Live Act at the Q Awards and will be looking to cement that position when they tour UK arenas from late February 2009.
Ricky Wilson's band are now at the point where they've cemented their position in British music and need to develop. Terrace anthems are all good and well, but only take you so far both critically and commercially, so now should be the time they really signal their intent to be a major player. Unfortunately for them, "Off With Their Heads" fails to do that, lacking in what they do best and not finding anything to replace it with. Huge guitars may rip through "Spanish Metal", but the lack of a decent hook is disappointing, and worse yet repeated on the punky "Half The Truth" and "Can't Say What I Mean". Recent single "Never Miss A Beat" suffers from the same shortcomings, while Lily Allen's other guest appearance on "Always Happens Like That" is the tracks only appeal, as once again the lack of sing-a-long is sorely missed.
Providing a rare highlight is "Like It Too Much", a mid-tempo number which could be from any of their albums, while "You Want History" is a decent enough tune laced with electro-disco that apes Duran Duran. Perhaps the greatest indication of the lack of inspiration here is "Tomato In The Rain", which fails even to incorporate the trademark energy and enthusiasm for which the band are famed, and "Remember You're A Girl" is an extremely timid conclusion. Their recent call for an end to their feud with Oasis could prove a face-saving move, as based on this form the Kaisers are unlikely to be around with such popularity by album seven, unlike the brothers Gallagher. Lacking in excitement, it is a disappointing release and means their next release will need to be invigorated with new ideas.