Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Album: Kaiser Chiefs, Off With Their Heads (B-Unique/Polydor)

The Leeds quintet deftly combine new wave/punk and pop with a whole succession of exhilarating hooklines and ebullient passion. Three albums into a three-year career and things are moving on nicely.

They’re still in cracking form producing tunes that fizz with timeless energy and weighty invention.

Latest longplayer, Off With Their Heads, sees the Chiefs at their quirky XTC-like best.

The album is an uncanny blend of urgency and melody. Compositions are well-sculpted and the band’s playing is as tight as ever.

Each song is as irresistible as the next — with Can’t Say What I Mean, Good Days And Bad Days and the wonderfully-named Tomato In The Rain personal favourites.

Pop’s ‘It girl’ Lily Allen and Sway provide backing vocals on a couple of tracks.

But really the attraction of this record is the brilliance of outstanding frontman Ricky Wilson and a whole bunch of overtly radio-friendly crowd-pleasing anthems with the usual sprinkling of showstoppers.

Yes, it does get rather idiotic in places but the Chiefs are a band that do not take themselves too seriously and you cannot fault that.

With the excellent XTC having left the stage some time ago, the pop world desperately needs Kaiser Chiefs.

Let’s hope Wilson and his Leeds University pals never lose their little idiosyncrasies, their sense of adventure and, most importantly, their humour.

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