Kasabian: Empire

By Scott Kara

Herald rating: * * * *

There's nothing as intense or ferocious on Kasabian's second album as Club Foot. That's because there are fewer rock'n'roll moments and more instruments including strings, Moroccan rai players and bold brassy bursts.

The title track's chorus comes on like a grunty Dr Who theme and there's the galactic bass and punishing fuzz of Sun Rise Light Flies. Stuntman is a timewarp back to an underground club in the late 80s and album closer The Doberman is a simmering beauty.

While Last Trip (In Flight) sounds like it has been stripped back too far, the minimal woozy charm of Me Plus One makes it an album high.

There's an arrogance that emanates from singer Tom Meighan, like when he says disdainfully, "I'm the king and she's my queen ... bitch", on Shoot The Runner. But like Liam Gallagher, there's something endearing about his slack swagger and melodic drawl.

Kasabian divided opinion first time round and that division will be wider after Empire. Initially it comes across as missing something, but with time, main songwriter Serge Pizzorno reveals himself as an indulgent but clever chap.

Label: Sony BMG

Kasabian play Big Day Out '07 on the Green Stage

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