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Kasabian

Psychedelic garage glam band

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By Gary Graff  

One of the latest "It" bands out of the U.K., Kasabian synthesizes thirty-odd years of British rock into one irresistibly propulsive album, a swirling mass of sound that grooves with the authority of a vintage Madchester dance party, and punches like Oasis on one of its reputation-making nights.

This particular quartet of sonic alchemists hails from the Leicester, part of the English urban sprawl that's long been a hot bed for electronica culture, but still influenced by the commercial conventions of BBC Radio 1. As a result, the city has been an incubator for something that's melodically accessible, but with plenty of hip cache. Kasabian has taken all of that and fused it into a fourteen track debut that's best filed under Psychedelic Glam Garage. You can hear the group reach back for T. Rex riffery, then filter it through influences such as the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and A3, bits of Radiohead and also touches from such Brit-loved Yankees as the Strokes and Interpol.

So much goes on in each of the songs. "Club Foot," for instance, fades into a tight techno groove, adding a fierce guitar backbone to morph into a bona fide anthem that would sound potent coming off a turntable, or played live in a stadium. Kasabian's quieter moments are convincing as well, particularly the soulful restraint of "Butcher Blues." Potent and clever, this self-titled collection is likely to be in our heads and on our minds long into the future.

Gary Graff writes extensively about music. His work has appeared widely in such publications as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Detroit Free Press, and Billboard.