Kasabian, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Electro-shocked stadium-ready Brit rock with an assist from Dan the Automator
In case you're terrible at tracking the relative trendiness of British bands, here's the deal with Kasabian: they specialize in electro-shocked rock, a stadium-ready blend of Oasis, the Stone Roses and Primal Scream. Needless to say, the kids love this stuff overseas, but it hasn't fully caught on over here. That just might change with West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Assignment, a "soundtrack to an imaginary movie" produced by underground hip-hop icon Dan the Automator (Dr. Octagon, Handsome Boy Modeling School). Kinda sounds like the direction Damon Albarn took with Gorillaz's self-titled debut — yet another Dan the Automator presentation — doesn't it? On paper, yes; but the only clear comparisons between the two would be Dan's heavyweight drum breaks and the tumbleweed trails of Ennio Morricone on "Thick As Thieves" and "Ladies and Gentleman (Roll the Dice)." Other than that, this is essentially the sound of Kasabian reaching slightly outside their comfort zone and exploring galloping disco grooves ("Fire"), hearty gospel ("Happiness"), and, err, psych-rock crossed with drum 'n' bass ("Fast Fuse"). And then there's Rosario Dawson's breathy duet with singer Tom Meighan on "West Ryder Silver Bullet," the closest Kasabian's gonna come to crafting their very own "Bonnie & Clyde." No wonder why the group's trying to recruit Quentin Tarantino for a DVD release down the road.