Empire | RCA
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  September 11, 2006
2.0 2.0 Stars

Last week the second CD by this English dance-rock act debuted atop the British albums chart, and Kasabian’s notoriously loudmouthed members weren’t exactly gracious about it. “He’s a midget with whiskers,” frontman Tom Meighan is reported to have said of Justin Timberlake, whose “SexyBack” topped the UK singles chart opposite Kasabian. That swagger isn’t limited to the band’s extra-musical commentary — it’s also the main ingredient on Empire, where fuzzy, stadium-geared guitar riffs ride digitally enhanced block-rocking beats and Meighan’s whiny vocal melodies carry traces of old recordings by rave-rock pioneers like Primal Scream and the Happy Mondays. The post-Oasis racket at times achieves a soccer-hooligan anti-grace: “Last Trip (In Flight)” sports a satisfyingly trashy go-go-garage groove, and “Shoot the Runner” could be T. Rex remixed by Fatboy Slim. But Kasabian can’t do anything besides snarl, a limitation that’s starting to show after only two albums.

Kasabian + Mew | Paradise Rock Club, 967 Comm Ave, Boston | September 17 | 617.228.6000

Related: On the racks: September 19, 2006, The Big Hurt: Neglected press-release roundup, At home with home, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Justin Timberlake,  More more >
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