Kasabian Under Pressure? Not With New Release The Alchemist’s Euphoria

The Pressure

Not really, but there has been a bit of an issue recently for Kasabian as their vocalist Tom Meighan was relieved of his duties after a charge of assault on his then-girlfriend, now wife, Vikki.

Searching for a new vocalist can really take time and lead to cul de sacs, just look at Queen, who finally settled on Adam Lambert, but not before releasing a very comfortable ‘rock’ album with Paul Rodgers.

Kasabian's Serge Pizzorno
Credit; The Guardian

It was easier for Kasabian – step forward…

…Serge Pizzorno!

Hang on, didn’t he do the songwriting, play guitar and handle a lot of the interviews? Yeah, well now he’s singing as well, get over it!

It seems a natural fit, so natural that it has left some (well, me anyway), wondering if  Kasabian is actually a band.

When The Horn Blows sums it up very well;

The question on everyone’s mind is, “will Kasabian still sound like Kasabian?”

they also say that;

‘But in the same way Genesis replaced Peter Gabriel with Phil Collins, the Kasabian train will not, nay, cannot be stopped.’

Well no, it simply rolls on. This album shows it.

A Solid Effort From Kasabian

That’s what this album, The Alchemist’s Euphoria, does. It isn’t a killer. But then there hasn’t been one of those for Kasabian since 2009’s ‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum’ in my opinion and although a whizz-bang brilliance would have put a cap on concerns.

But solid is the next best thing. Business as usual in this situation is not being damned with faint praise.

Alchemist?

Well, I don’t feel the euphoria of finding gold from base metal here; nothing shocks with delight, but nothing disappoints overly either.

‘Alchemist’ puts Pizzorno out front, almost as if to say ‘yes, it’s me singing, let’s get it out of the way early on’ and the Acid Jazz piano fits well, as do the strings taking the heft of ‘Rocket Fuel’ with its wannabe Sleaford Mods delivery.

Actually, this is an album of excellent bits, rather than a bit of an excellent album; the Electro, portentous synth line in ‘Scripture’, ‘T.U.E (the ultraview effect)’s a playful throb of resolutely old skool synths, a deep cut-sounding ‘Chemicals’ which nevertheless pleases with big bass and smacked beat.

But the best thing here is the annoyingly spelled ‘Alygatyr’, a song with aspirations to grow and travel – that’s at a premium on this album. The bass agrees to provide the spine of the song and also move it forward, it motors along, a synth bass maybe, given a rest as the middle of the song floats slightly above that bass and the synth squeaks like a pest, always in your ear.

That track believes in itself, other tracks support it.

A Success On Its Own Terms

Kasabian has done more than just ‘business as usual here, there’s life here and a push from strength from top to tail. ‘The Guardian‘ didn’t agree though;

‘It’s business as usual for the electro-rockers after the departure of frontman Tom Meighan.’

And Serge’s voice? It’s serviceable, it has a pleasing quality, in that it doesn’t cause debate. Is that enough? Well, I suppose it is a little anodyne although it can be a little menacing at times; is that enough? Not really, it’s not just about being a vocalist, it’s about fronting the band.

Let’s see what happens to Kasabian in the next few years; Serge told the NME in May;

‘This album was just us saying, ‘Let’s see what we can do – let’s see where we can take this’

Kasabian steadied the ship. The Alchemist hasn’t found gold but isn’t left with clinker either.

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