Kasabian: The Alchemist’s Euphoria review – in search of new beginnings

·1 min read

You come to a new Kasabian album with expectations. Subtlety is overrated. Your rabble will be roused. Song titles sound like things you’d hear shouted outside the pub at closing time: Wasted, Are You Looking for Action?, You’re in Love With a Psycho (all from 2017’s For Crying Out Loud).

Singer Tom Meighan’s sacking in 2020 for spousal abuse hasn’t hugely altered these assumptions, even as songwriter turned frontman Serge Pizzorno promises new directions. This is continuity Kasabian, with super-producer Fraser T Smith brought in to buff up their rave-rock sound.

Although Pizzorno’s reedy squeak usually sounds more suited to psych-folk played in regional arts centres, Meighan was always better on stage than in the studio, and is only missed here for his ability to sell a chorus. Perhaps the band’s biggest problem, almost 25 years in, is that those choruses have begun to dry up. The eerie indelibility of Days are Forgotten, or Fire’s lumpen power, are missing, leaving the strings of lyrical cliches that Pizzorno ladles up horribly exposed. Alygatyr, Rocket Fuel and Chemicals are all right, but this feels like a coda, not a new movement.