Kaiser Chiefs – Duck

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Kaiser Chiefs press shot 2019 by Edward Cooke
Credit: Edward Cooke

UK band Kaiser Chiefs latest release perfectly represents a transition away from their previously popular rock/post-punk revival sound. Inspired by artists of the 70s and 80s new wave movement, the band has released an album showcasing a more traditional and upbeat new wave sound.

As bassist Simon Rix commented, the band “wanted to do something that had a Kaiser Chiefs DNA but still try and do something different.” The new album entirely attests to Rix’s comment, introducing a pop-infused sound rarely heard in KC’s previous releases. From anthemic opening People Know (How To Love One Another) the album definitely doesn’t hesitate in jumping into the band’s newfound sound, as within the first few seconds, the voice of lead vocalist Ricky Wilson can be heard chanting the catchy phrase and title “people know how to love one another.”

Kaiser Chiefs – People Know How To Love One Another

The rest of the album continues to live up to this new upbeat standard, with lyrics matching the uplifting tone: “There’s boots on the ground, And every single sound, Is like a bomb that will never explode” from People Know, and track titles like Don’t Just Stand There, Do Something and Electric Heart.

The entire album highlights the unity that music and joyful sound can bring, with lyrics to emphasize the unifying message. Kaiser Chiefs made no mistake in bringing to light the topic of unity through sound, repeating the infectious chorus and pairing the words with a catchy guitar riff and an energetic drum beat. The style behind the message is similar to the bands iconic I Predict A Riot, which similarly gives listeners something to sing and jump along to together. However, the new album’s uplifting melodies and cheery verses — as heard in beach-y anthem Golden Oldies and jazz-influenced tune Wait distinguish the band’s newfound sound from it’s previously popular rock music.

Even one of the album’s slowest songs Target Market finds influence from the band’s experimental nature. This same experimental nature does not come without drawbacks, however. At a few distinctive points throughout the album, the lyrics leave something to be desired, as the band largely focused on creating a new and unique sound to pair their strangely unimaginative writing with. It isn’t a blunder to focus on, however, as listeners will surely find themselves chanting along to the catchy, repetitive and anthemic sounds found in People KnowDon’t Just Stand There, Do Something, and Wait.

Kaiser Chiefs Duck album artwork

Kaiser Chiefs - Duck

Lasting Appeal


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