Somehow, in the midst of everything, the hype and the excitement and the Facebook and the Global Financial Crisis and all that jazz, the band that is Kasabian have become an absolute stalwart of modern rock. When I first got wind of ‘Reason Is Treason‘ (courtesy, like much of the great music of my youth, of Josh Schwartz and the incredible music director at ‘The O.C.’), I recall being pretty intrigued. It had high-pitched, sort of yelping, nasal melody lines, the constant hum of guitars underpinning it and a vague sense of threat, in the chanted command ‘K-I-LL!’ and in the way it broke itself down and picked itself back up again, swarming at you with any number of structural oddities and instrumental assaults. In many ways, ‘Reason Is Treason’ – the second single from the Leicester band’s eponymous debut – probably should have been enough of a sign that these lads meant business. But given the hyperactive news cycle of the music press and the frequency with which bubble bands blow up and then burst, I’m not certain that anyone had that much invested in the long-term success of Kasabian.
Maybe they should have. It’s always difficult to pick these things that early in the game but now, after sophomore effort ‘Empire’, the awesome ‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum‘ and this second single from the recently released ‘Velociraptor!’ (also a dinosaur, also a funky indie rock band from Brisbane), many are clambering to get on board the Kasabian Bandwagon – a wagon that has proved resilient through years of changing tastes and strong competition from bands across Britain and one which is probably sponsored by EA Sports (‘L.S.F.‘ featured on FIFA 04) or Sky Sports (‘Fire‘ as theme tune to Premier League coverage). Much of that, at least in my books, is down to lead vocalist Tom Meighan’s instantly recognisable, powerful vocals and their combination with guitarist Sergio Pizzorno’s backing vocals. There aren’t many more unique vocal 1-2 punches out there and it is the familiarity enhanced by their interplay that allows the band to change things up, comfortable in the knowledge that they’ll still be recognised, to some extent, as Kasabian.
In the high, Gorillaz-like tones of the backing vocals, the drawn-out Oasis-like phrasing of the chorus and the way Tom intones the track’s title, imbuing ‘Days Are Forgotten’ with so much weight and intrigue so that not only do the words sound like a good name for the next Bond installment but you can imagine lava-lamp languid girls writhing to the tune, Kasabian have reinvented themselves again. As with individual players on FIFA games (to stretch the motif further still), the band seem to have so much talent that distributing their resources among any number of attribute variations, you still manage to come up with a resoundingly good proposition. ‘Days Are Forgotten’ is the sort of song that, like the band, might fly under the radar. There is nothing immediately explosive about it but its reservation and solid planning is typical for the band that eschews ‘flash in the pan’ status. If the O.C. soundtrack, football connotations and three stellar albums preceding this one haven’t convinced you, this track, moody and mysterious, will remind you of why Kasabian, sleeper-cell that they are, continued to be a force to be reckoned with.
Kasabian – Days Are Forgotten