Thursday, March 27, 2014

Kaiser Chiefs: "Education, Education, Education & War" (album review)

After taking a few years off in the wake of some fairly rattling line-up changes, UK alt rock favorites Kaiser Chiefs are back with a new record.  The album, Education, Education, Education & War will come out on April 1st.

A greater influence of New Wave bands can be heard on this album.  The opening track, "The Factory Gates", blends that with a slashing Gothic tinge.  The 6-minute "Cannons" is reminiscent of some of the more sprawling Talking Heads efforts in both sound and theme.

The focus track "Coming Home" has a laid back, almost relieved vibe to it.  However, every time I listen to it I'm expecting the guitar line in the verses to roll over into "Pictures Of You".

The melodrama is laid on pretty thickly on this record.  The glossy "Meanwhile Up In Heaven" is shellacked with it.  The sweeping(ish) "Roses" tries far too hard to be important.

That works far better on "Misery Company".  While the track does come across as overly contrived, there's still a compelling quality to the maniacal vocal cackle.

The most energetic cut on the album is "One More Last Song".  It's not much more than a standard Kaiser Chiefs filler track though.

As a whole, Education, Education, Education & War is a perfectly serviceable record, not an outstanding one.  It has the feel of an album that was released because, well, it was just time to release something new.

Best tracks: "Misery Company", "Cannons"

Track listing for Education, Education, Education & War:
  • The Factory Gates
  • Coming Home
  • Misery Company
  • Ruffians On Parade
  • Meanwhile Up In Heaven
  • One More Last Song
  • My Life
  • Bows and Arrows
  • Cannons
  • Roses

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