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Kaiser Chiefs
Yours Truly, Angry Mob
Universal Records
www.kaiserchiefs.co.uk


Out of the gate lately have been several sequels, including Kasabian, Kings Of Leon, Evanescence, The Killers, and now Leeds, England's endearing offspring Kaiser Chiefs. The Brit-pop quintet, with lead vocalist Ricky Wilson, guitarist Andrew White, bassist Simon Rix, keyboardist Nick Baines, and drummer Nick Hodgson, is reissuing their rousing tambourine jiggles, roller coasting rhythms, tangy synths, squirts of taut guitar projectiles, and interweaving vocals on their sophomore disc Yours Truly, Angry Mob, produced by Stephen Street (Blur, The Cranberries, The Smiths, Morrissey).

Their melodies are loomed into musical dialogues between the instrument parts foiling charismatic harmonies, communicative exchanges, and dance club hooks with new wave revival inlays. The songs are catchy, sporting sing along lyrics, '60s modish Brit-pop voicing, and dance punk beats. The '60s-ish music clovers are reflective of the UK's prized steeds Oasis, Razorlight, and Shack, but like the uniqueness of each dialect in the British shires, the Kaiser Chiefs' songs are marked by their own intrinsic accents. This translates into the fact that you can recognize a Kaiser Chiefs tune immediately. The melodic incantations and Brit-pop genetics which are indigenous to the band are a double edged sword. On one hand, people are quick to identify a Kaiser Chiefs song, and on the other, it sets limitations on their repertoire to what they already play. Surprisingly, Yours Truly has enough diverse rhythms and variations in the chordal changes of their musical vignettes that each song has its own melodic make-up, contrasting Employment which had a handful of pop hits and the rest acted as filler.

Yours Truly designs each song fully with melodic scripts that bud into full-fledged casts of dynamic interaction, like the track "My Kind Of Guy" about a truly vile bloke who has so much in common with the singer: "There's a word to the wise/ You should take some advice 'cause the nice guys always finish last/ You're my kind of guy 'cause I like your style/ And you sound as horrible as me/ And I don't mind if you're unkind you're reminding me of me…And heads will roll as it takes it toll on you and me." The words poke fun at their narrator as the music is spun into an overcast of haunting theatrics in the guitar and synth verses, bobbing rhythms and vampiristic vocals. There's a ghoulish tone in the organ-tinged synths, but still a charming and playful tune.

The music pendulums in cases like "Try Your Best" and "Everything Is Average Nowatdays" delivering beatnik grooves and jiggling synths looping around squeezing guitar hooks while showers of tambourines ruffle through the melody. The match grip drum spreads and feathered tambourines on "Ruby" are vintage Kaiser Chiefs. The classic rock vibe of "The Angry Mob" has reflections of The Strokes metronome, while the sprinting vocals on "Heat Dies Down" are chilled in new wave revival sounding keyboards, dance punk beats, and guitar flourishes with an Editors' phonic. The brushed acoustic guitar arpeggios on "Love's Not A Competition, But I'm Winning" are masked by a gallery of paddling synths and velvety vocals hugging the rhythmic motions, while the sauntering rhythms of "I Can Do It Without You" have a summery feel. Pliable drum strikes are tailored to the softly textured synths while rippling through the passages of brassy toned guitars on "Thank You Very Much." The piano ballad "Learnt My Lesson Well" features drummer Nick Hodgson on lead vocals, respiring a solemn, bluesy aesthetic into the album, but the band still falls back on their 60s' modish style of Austin Powers grooves with tracks like "Highroyds" and "Retirement."

It's hard not to find something to compliment about Kaiser Chiefs second album. They stretched out and sound more limber by incorporating acoustic guitar and piano comps into their Brit-pop content. Their instrument accents are mainstays and have officially become a part of music fans' psyche. As a whole, the album mixes vintage Kaiser Chiefs with contemporary tones, giving fans something exciting to look forward to from the band.

-Susan Frances

Track listing:
1. Ruby
2. The Angry Mob
3. Heat Dies Down
4. Highroyds
5. Love's Not A Competition, But I'm Winning
6. Thank You Very Much
7. I Can Do It Without You
8. My Kind Of Guy
9. Everything Is Average Nowatdays
10. Learnt My Lesson Well
11. Try Your Best
12. Retirement


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