Kaiser Chiefs defeats sophomore slump

Jinae West

Like watching The Godfather or taking a bite of strawberry cheesecake, some things just aren’t as good the second time around.

Kaiser Chiefs’ latest effort, Yours Truly, Angry Mob, is the exception. The Chiefs’ sophomore album manages to defy the banal industry curse, proving the band’s new wave worth with subtle social commentary and high-energy tracks.

The Chiefs’ sound is comfortably reminiscent in its punk rock overtones, perhaps unconsciously paying tribute to the British rock demigods of the 1970s. Signature tempos and pulsating guitar licks litter the album, amplifying the band’s enthusiastic attributes first heard in the band’s debut record, Employment.

“Ruby” is the album’s breakout single. The beginning starts out strong with escalating momentum and shatters with an anti-climatic punch into the mind-numbingly infectious chorus. The wavering notes seem to seep into the listener’s afterthoughts long after the last few reverberating beats.

“Angry Mob” is the band’s lyrical condemnation of the “yob culture” in Britain — unruly adolescents who pillage city streets after pub hours. As the track builds to a rumbling intensity, the Chiefs chant, “We are the angry mob / We read the papers everyday / We like who we like / We hate who we hate / But we’re also easily swayed.” The bass-heavy track showcases the band in its most simplistic form and most natural element.

The fast-paced “Heat Dies Down” is breathless, engaging the listener in full force with its sweeping guitar riffs and rich, textured vocals. While “Love’s Not A Competition (But I’m Winning)” delivers a slow, solid acoustic take on the failures of love, “Try Your Best” reveals momentary flashes of melodic and atmospheric brilliance when lead vocalist Ricky Wilson sings, “I can’t do it any quicker / I don’t want it any slicker / As far as the eye can see / Is miles and miles of icy sea.”

Yours Truly, Angry Mob has its share of fillers and, ultimately, its flaws. But fans will forgive the follow-up album’s minor mistakes for a more mature sound. Kaiser Chiefs is growing up, taking the industry by storm with rock-star swagger and a grain of salt.

Kaiser Chiefs

Yours Truly, Angry Mob

Released on Universal Motown Records Group

Stater rating (out of five):


Contact ALL correspondent Jinae West at [email protected].