Last Friday was a happy day for readers of Angry Baby and fans of great music because not only was it release day for Rachael Sage’s PseudoMyopia and The Luck’s Ready to Run, but one of my favourite bands, Kaiser Chiefs, released their seventh album, Duck. Duck follows on from the band’s move into a more electronic pop sound on Stay Together and while some tracks retain a touch of that sound, it’s fair to say that the band (Ricky Wilson, Simon Rix, Andrew ‘Whitey’ White, Vijay Mistry and Nick ‘Peanut’ Baines) have returned to their more traditional indie roots. The result is a rollicking good listen and a collection of tracks that leaves you waiting to see in which musical direction Kaiser Chiefs will go next.
The first track, ‘People Know How to Love One Another‘, is a perfect lead off, in that it has the anthemic sound found on so many cracking Kaiser Chiefs songs and a very catchy hook – you’ll be singing this for days. Although the songs is called ‘People Know How to Love One Another’, the implication is that we don’t really have a clue a lot of the time so “show me how”. It’s tempting to see this anthem as a plea for togetherness in these difficult political times, but then again, not everything in life, despite how it feels, is about Brexit. Nevertheless, the line “cos being together’s all we need” is a sentiment worth remembering in any circumstance.
‘Target Market‘ is the standout track for me, combining a vintage KC sound, including some glorious vocals from Ricky Wilson. It’s left to the listener to decide whether or not the described love affair actually happens; either way, the anxiety of new love comes across perfectly and is picked up again in ‘Lucky Shirt‘.
One of the defining things about songs from Kaiser Chiefs is the lyrics – always clever, witty and very, very British, not to mention a talent for capturing the details in life that make the image complete. One such detail is “crying in a puddle on the laminate floor” from ‘Don’t Just Stand There, Do Something‘, while ‘Northern Holiday‘s’ “my jumper’s been unravelling, I snagged it on the doorpost as I left” brings a chuckle of recognition because we’ve all had those days. Kaiser Chiefs songs are often funny and “99 problems and every single one with a flake” from ‘Wait‘ made me lough out loud. Classic wordplay is also in evidence, notably on ‘Golden Oldies‘ with “shove will come to push” and also a mention (first of many, I’m sure) to Ricky’s dog, Reedus.
Duck is an album that is full of great songs, great lyrics and full of earworms – most of them are so catchy, they’ll be fighting it out as to which gets sung the most. Kaiser Chiefs might have 99 problems but making great music is most certainly not one of them. I’ll leave you with ‘Record Collection‘, because the video is great – and if you have the physical album, the liner note in honour of Peanut’s dad, Alan is a gem.
Catch Kaiser Chiefs live through to September 7 and on tour in 2020. Or if you can’t make it, follow them at: