Kasabian’s big PR problem is they’ve never had a Pulp-like wit about them, and their ability to communicate the human condition has been limited to drug trip visions and fist-pumping hippie lyrics that come off as Shaun Ryder-lite. Plus, an Oasis-esque hunger for arena domination just oozes out of this band, so they’re firmly in the “love ‘em or hate ‘em” category, and never more so than on Velociraptor! Here, they’ve got the audacity to open their album with a gong, which gives way to a Mexican trumpet riff, a funky, spy-movie bassline, and production that screams “mod!” That’s possibly the most convoluted way to go “back to basics,” as the opening “Let's Roll Just Like We Used To” infers, but Kasabian have been a band of post-Brit-pop possibilities from the get go, so bringing in techno, ethnic sounds, and an orchestra is coming home for this impudent crew. The hurdle that must be jumped is that wild ideas sometimes take precedence over great ideas, but everything is shaped into a winner thanks to the group’s undying allegiance to the groove. It icky thumps like White Stripes on the gutsy “Re-Wired” and peaks the meters on the Chemical Brothers-like title track. If the bold lyrics don’t always work, the hooks cover that up just fine, and even as everything and two kitchen sinks are thrown at the listener -- productions shifts and epic constructions abound -- the album is right-sized, laying the whole circus out in 11 tracks and pulling up stakes right before the audience tires of the spectacle. Megaton beats still mix well with high-flying, Gallagher brothers-styled melodies, so anyone who wished “Setting Sun” would have supernova’d into an album will have no problem embracing this one.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries