Aural Pleasure Review
Kaiser Chiefs: 'Start the Revolution Without Me'
Published: March 14, 2012
Start The Revolution Without Me is a schizophrenic trip through the hive mind of a band losing sight of itself. It bounces, scatter hot, from '60s mod to garage rock, through cheesy '80s synth pop with a brief detour through the angular landscape of post punk and the grimy muscle of proto punk. Sometimes, this sort of pan-stylistic sampling works; a band so deeply excited by all of those sounds can make them each its own. Here, it sounds more like Kaiser Chiefs are just throwing a little bit of everything out there, hoping something will stick. Unfortunately, very little of it does. For what it's worth, the musicianship is sound throughout. Competence and enjoyability are not synonyms, though, and that's the chief problem with the album — it's boring. Even where there are glimmers of fun — the slanting counterpoint of "Little Shocks," or the syncopated bass and rimshot-heavy, echo-laden percussion of "Can't Mind My Own Business" — the band seems unwilling to let them take over. Horror soundtrack synths clown up each of those examples, the album's strange stylistic pandering proving both a micro and macroscopic problem. There are a few good ideas here, but they're few, far between, and immediately forgotten.
★★ (out of 5 stars)