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Kasabian - 'Vlad The Impaler'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:46 UK time, Tuesday, 9 February 2010


Ah, I hear the rumble of fuzzbass, I sense a wah wah on the horizon. There are echoed thumps and breezeblock beats, and a shouting man with two voices is howling gobbledygook from the top of a photogenic rock in a desert location, while a girl with a beard plays a guitar which no-one can hear. It's Kasabian time again!

This not, as you may imagine, a song about a vampire antelope (impala, geddit?). It's one of those Kasabian songs where, for a chorus, Tom Meighan is invited to shout something cheesy, and then repeat it a few times. As is often the case, it's another order, translated into Classic Rockspeak, a demand that we all cool out, or get higher, or come on and feel a noise. In this case, we are all to stop what we're doing and "get loose", pronto.

(There is a video, with Noel Fielding in. He's bloke called Vlad and he impales people. Literally.)

In a way, it doesn't matter what the cheesy thing is. Even if the verses were about the actual Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, the Law Of Kasabian would insist that the lyrics don't so much tell his gruesome story as explore the feelings of superiority and specialness he may have had, feelings which might be similar to those of, say, a proper rock star in 2010. And then express them using the medium of cool words.

I mean it's very likely that at some point Prince Vlad will have described himself - and entourage - as being "the last beatniks", or "the lost heretics", isn't it? So in a way what Serge has done is very clever, getting into the head of a despotic, violent leader, and then imagining what it would be like if he was a rock star in the band Kasabian, and actually called Tom.

It's a trick he can probably do with any historical figure you'd care to name. Gandhi? He'd be quite a political rock star, like a John Lennon figure. His shouted catchphrase would be "freak it all out", and he would also describe himself as "a monk in the shadows, a peace ninja".

Joan Of Arc? More of a Courtney Love type. She'd be represented in one of those wordless chants the 'Sabes do so well, as well as a few lines about "x-ray spray" and "snake-skin love armour".

Best of all, by imagining that all these cool people think like him, talk like him, and basically ARE him, Serge has saved himself a TON of tedious book-based research, innee?

Three starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: February 15th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)


  • Comment number 1.

    West Rider Pauper Lunatic Asylum was a justified number 1 album and these guys go from strength to strength .

    Good , dirty , rough , pop song this .

    Although , looking at the picture above ,and specifically , the two on the right, I wonder how a bored looking Mika , managed to get himself photographed next to a bored looking Eddie Izzard !

  • Comment number 2.

    I'm suprised they haven't released Fast Fuse yet, when I got the album that song just screamed SINGLE!!!!!!!! Nevertheless this is still a good song, 4 stars for me.

  • Comment number 3.

    I think the guy second from the right looks more like Ricky Wilson from Kaiser Chiefs, before he lost the weight and with a perm.

  • Comment number 4.

    This was from a 2009 album, not 2010 album.

  • Comment number 5.

    I like the Zane Lowe remix of this.

  • Comment number 6.

    Well, it's not bad

    And I do like Kasabian, I do, but it's just, well...they're not Oasis are they? They probably are the biggest band in the country after the Gallaghers hissy fit in Paris, but not by a long way. Oasis were, for fifteen years straight, no matter what cow excrement they released (Be Here Now :| ) but we havnt got a standout band now. I don't like it. Why can't they make up????

  • Comment number 7.

    So are Kasabian now bigger than Muse ?

    Are Kasabian now bigger than The Arctic Monkeys ?

    What should the members of Oasis do next ?


  • Comment number 8.

    Thats what I'm saying, all three of those bands could stake a claim now, wheras Oasis' biggest and only real challengers were blur and Coldplay, in fifteen whole years.

  • Comment number 9.

    Without looking at figures, I'd bet Muse and Artic Monkeys have sold more albums, got more airplay and had more hits than Oasis in the last 8, maybe 10 years. I would also say that though the '90s may have belonged to Oasis, Blur, The Verve and Pulp... the '00s were the Monkey's and Muse's.

    (Yes I am aware Muse had stuff before but they really kicked off with Origin of Symmetry)

    Also we can't forget Radiohead now can we?

  • Comment number 10.

    The thing is, even with all the hype and records sold Oasis were actually pretty rubbish. (apart from the first two albums which were alright and the odd single) Blur, Arctic Monkeys, Muse and Pulp (I could go on forever) are all much better bands so it depends what you want from a 'standout' uk band, do you want a band who can create a massive fan base (Oasis) or do you want a band who can deliver great album after great album (Arctic Monkeys, Blur etc..). Simples

  • Comment number 11.

    Harry, the first two albums wernt 'allright', they were the best British albums of the last thirty years.

  • Comment number 12.

    Apart from all the better ones.

    (Each to their own!)

  • Comment number 13.

    Agreed, I take it your not a fan, I'll let it lie ;)

    They are though...

  • Comment number 14.

    I am a fan lol. Just there's better.

  • Comment number 15.

    Well, apparently Liam Gallagher is setting up a new band so we'll see how that goes.

    I'm thinking major failage. I think Oasis and The Gallaghers time in music has come and gone. I mean their last album, Dig Out Your Soul (2008), was released and their was some hype when the first single, The Shock Of Lightning came out, but then they just sort of were forgotten.

    Even their split didn't garner many headlines. A major change from the 1990s when they were huge or even their 2006 album Stop The Clocks.

  • Comment number 16.

    harry i am right with you.. fast fuse is an awesome song and im suprised they haven't released it as a single.. also they released a 2 minute version of this a long time before the album..

    i personally think oasis hav only made 3 good albums.. everything in the 00's was poor.. apart from the track importance of being idle, thats great.

  • Comment number 17.

    Just to remind you lads, I said they were consistantly the biggest band, not necessarily the best. They wernt the best throughout, I agree, particularly in the 00s. But they were the biggest and the best of the 90s in my humble opinion ...

  • Comment number 18.

    Ahem. No. Oasis were not "actually pretty rubbish".

    They were also not limited to two good albums. They made two absolute classics and, in my opinion, a couple of very good albums (Be Here Now and Dig Out Your Soul), a decent one (Heathen Chemistry), and a couple of mediocre ones (Don't Believe The Truth and Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants).

    From a personal standpoint, none of the other bands mentioned have ever affected me the way Oasis's music did - in fact, no band has (not even Delays). At their peak, they tapped directly into the souls of people (more than a generation) and sang to them in a way that NO other band did at the time, and for that reason they'll always be special. Actually, that goes beyond just a personal perspective - it's observable fact (apart from the "always" bit - we'll revisit in 100 years).

    Pulp, Blur, The Verve and Radiohead never did this so consistently. You might argue that they didn't want to, and that's fine. And their legacy will be different. But dismissing Oasis in comparison to those bands as just hype and lots of sales is pretty blind, even if you don't like them.

    Also - "do you want a band who can create a massive fan base (Oasis) or do you want a band who can deliver great album after great album (Arctic Monkeys, Blur etc..)". Really? I'm going to take my personal taste out of this, and just talk about critical reception. Arctic Monkeys - two great albums, and a third one that's a comparative disappointment for some. Sound like any other bands you know?

    When it comes to more recent bands, I dunno whether there's just not been a band as good as Oasis, or if I'm too old - cos rock & roll (or whatever you want to call it - but essentially people in their 20s making pop music with guitars) really is most importantly for teenagers. If there's a band or bands you make a connection with when you're 16, I don't think you can expect that same feeling when you're 30. There are bands I've discovered in the last few years that I've come to love (Delays) or like a lot (The Music), but it's not the same.

    And to be honest, I don't think I've observed any one band with as great an impact on the public as Oasis since the 90s (which was, granted, their peak both creatively and commercially). Which might be down to the bands, down to how music's more fragmented, down to how society's more fragmented, or other factors. But regardless, the "big" bands of the moment - Arctic Monkeys, Muse and Kasabian - do little for me.

  • Comment number 19.

    "Oasis were pretty rubbish. "

    I am not a huge Oasis fan , in the way my friend is above ,but I know good music and these following songs blow the pretty rubbish comment out of the water !


  • Comment number 20.

    im right with you on bands that get you when your 16-18.. they are the ones i love.. for me those bands are arctic monkeys, death cab for cutie, incubus... probably a few more.. but with those bands, they couldn't release a bad song in my eyes at the time..

    since then bands like the delays, the music interest me but its never as long lasting as those bands that hit you at the right time

  • Comment number 21.

    I was waiting for you to come and give me a hand curtains, well done for presenting the argument I couldn't be bothered to type and probably couldn't if I tried. Good collection spirit, but you missed The Masterplan a song that no music fan can listen to and say is crap ( it's also the song NG says is the best he's ever written)

  • Comment number 22.

    And champagne supernova, but hey, I'm not criticising :)

  • Comment number 23.

    Here's my view on Spirit's song choice.
    WONDERWALL - One of Oasis's good songs, unfortunately has suffered from being overplayed. 4 Stars
    SUPERSONIC - Decent song not a great one, Laim's singing drives me mental in the verses. 3 Stars
    STOP CRYING YOUR EYES OUT - Once again Liam's vocals, I just can't stand them it just sounds like he's whining at you. 3 Stars
    SOME MIGHT SAY - Second good song from oasis, the singing still drives me mental. 4 Stars
    LITTLE BY LITTLE - Boring. 2 Stars
    THE HINDU TIMES - One of the few Oasis I really enjoy listening to. 4 Stars
    ROLL WITH IT - Can't really get excited about this at all it just plods along with no intention of going anywhere. 3 Stars
    THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING IDLE - Like the Hindu Times this is one of those odd singles that I like. 4 Stars
    STAND BY ME - It's too long!!!!!!!!!!!! It isn't good enough to be six minutes long so why make it that long! 2 Stars
    ALL AROUND THE WORLD - Seriously nine minutes? This must be a joke, sounds like a desperate attempt to write their own Hey Jude. 2 Stars
    HALF THE WORLD AWAY - It's okay but after hearing 10 other Oasis songs it just sounds the same. 2 Stars

  • Comment number 24.

    I'll put up the rest when I can be bothered to listen to more Oasis.

  • Comment number 25.

    Here we go, so here is the second half of the list.
    DON'T LOOK BACK IN ANGER - Good song unfortunately much like Wonderwall it's been overplayed. 4 Stars
    CIGARETTES AND ALCOHOL - Would be 4 stars but it blatently rips off Get It On so for that it loses a mark. 3 Stars
    SHAKERMAKER - Sounds like any other Oasis song, it's boring I moved the song on from about 1 minute in to 3 and a half minutes and nothing had changed. 2 Stars
    MORNING GLORY - Still sounds the same as everything else but this ones a bit better than the others. 3 Stars
    CAST NO SHADOW - Boring, I couldn't even be bothered to get to the end. 2 Stars
    SHE'S ELECTRIC - FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!! It's the same beat, the same ideas, the same style, the same god awful singing style. 1 Star
    ACQUIESCE - Still the same as the rest but better than She's Electric. 2 Stars
    WHATEVER - No point me writing it again, just look at the other songs. 3 Stars
    LIVE FOREVER - One of the better Oasis songs, overplayed though. 4 Stars
    CHAMPAGNE SUPERNOVA - Good song. 4 Stars

    So there you have it my opinion on Oasis, personally I prefer Blur, Pulp and Supergrass when it comes to UK 90s bands. Oasis lacked any desire to do anything new, they never went outside of their comfort zone and never pushed themselves (was this because they didn't want to or because they didn't have the ability too). Therefore in my opinion they can never be a great band in any sense (they're alright I'm not going to turn off the radio if they come on), maybe I shouldn't have said they were 'pretty rubbish' so for that I apoligies but my point still stands. 6 good songs does not make a great band.

    P.S Maybe I shouldn't have given She's Electric 1 Star but at the time it felt right.

  • Comment number 26.

    Ha ha !

    Interesting reviews Harry !

    Now you have dismantled the classics by Curtain's favourite band , now why don't you analyse the famous songs by his favourite current existing band , Delays .

    The songs you could review are NEARER THAN HEAVEN , HEY GIRL , LONG TIME COMING , VALENTINE and HIDEAWAY , they are all on You Tube , give us a few lines on each with a star rating.

    Can't wait to read !

  • Comment number 27.

    Okay so now I cast my view on Spirit's beloved Delays.

    NEARER THAN HEAVEN - This is a tough one, it deserves more than 3 stars but doesn't really have the drive to be a 4 star song so I'll compramise. 3.5 Stars
    HEY GIRL - Same problem as the first song so I'll give it the same score, reminds me a lot of There She Goes by The La's. 3.5 Stars
    LONG TIME COMING - Like this one more than the other two, it feels like it has more purpose to it, it doesn't just want to plod along with no intention of getting anywhere. 4 Stars
    VALENTINE - I actually looked this song up a while ago when you where all raving about The Delays and loved it, went to look up the album but didn't really like enough of the songs to warrant a second listen. Still this is a cracking tune 5 STARS
    HIDEAWAY - At first it sounds a bit week but as it goes through it shows it's true colours, good song. 4 Stars

    So as you can plainly see The Delays have faired much better than Oasis, maybe I should check out more of their songs at some point.

  • Comment number 28.

    Seeing as I've spent the last two days rating songs now it's your turn Spirit to rate some songs from one of my favourite bands at the moment, PHOENIX.

    Check out LISZTOMANIA, 1901, CONSOLATION PRIZES, LONG DISTANCE CALL, NAPOLEAN SAYS, EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING and TOO YOUNG. If you like them I'd advise you get the album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix it's brilliant from start to finish.

  • Comment number 29.

    This is amazing !

    As I am typing this I am listening to Fences by Phoenix , track 3 on Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix .

    I have had it on repeat for 15 minutes , a fantastic 5 star song !

  • Comment number 30.

    1901 - 5 stars , will explain why after The Simpsons . . .

  • Comment number 31.

    Valentine , long Time Coming and Hideaway are 5 star songs.
    Brilliant ain't the half of it !

  • Comment number 32.


    The song that got me liking Phoenix . Although Thranjax raved about them somewhere between numbers 20 to 60 on Rybak almost a year ago .
    In an almost surreal moment , I was discussing Phoenix with Thranjax about 5 hours ago today .

    1901 has got so many brilliant hooks and fantastic interwoven melodies .
    The refrain where Thomas Mars sings " Hey , hey , hey , hey , hey " is the main standout moment .
    I love the guitar work as he sings "It's twenty seconds til the last call " .
    The instrumentation during the "fold it , fold it , fold it " , hook compliments the vocal melody line perfectly.
    It's such a good song , you want it to last longer , which is a huge compliment.
    A warranted 5 star song !

  • Comment number 33.


    Brahms and Liszt is the rhyming slang to describe someone who is drunk .
    Bearing this in mind , this lyric from this song is especially good :

    Think less but see it grow ,
    Like a riot , like a riot , oh "

    My favourite line in the song. Another interesting composition , with more good melody lines , and a good vocal performance that phrases some great lines .
    A good opener to a very good album .
    4 stars .

  • Comment number 34.

    Harry , to give the other songs , the repect they no doubt deserve , I will have to hear them at least 5 times over the next few days , so I will give them a review soon...

  • Comment number 35.

    Well done for coming over to the Phoenix side Spirit! I have already raved.

    I suppose in return I must listen to a Delays album, but which one?

  • Comment number 36.

    Obviously I had made a mistake about the delays, currently listening to You See Colours and so far (three tracks in) it sounds amazing!

  • Comment number 37.

    That album then, since harry recommends it!

  • Comment number 38.

    You See Colours is my second-favourite album in the world, from my second-favourite band. Harry, I'm glad you're giving it a chance. And if you're in the mood to try some more Delays, here are some of my favourites (some of which you'll already have heard - I'll put in brackets which album they're from):

    Valentine (You See Colours)
    You And Me (You See Colours)
    This Town's Religion (You See Colours)
    Waste Of Space (You See Colours)

    Wanderlust (Fade Seaside Glamour)
    Nearer Than Heaven (Faded Seaside Glamour)
    Stay Where You Are (Faded Seaside Glamour)

    Girl's On Fire (Everything's The Rush)
    Pieces (Everything's The Rush)
    Touch Down (Everything's The Rush)

    We Together Make A City (Love Made Visible EP)
    Slow Burn (Love Made Visible EP)

    Lost In A Melody (Lost In A Melody EP)

    In particular, Lost In A Melody is essential listening - it's a bit of a Delays anthem. But all of these songs are just brilliant.

    In return, I will check out this Phoenix band of yours and Thranjax's. Spirit's got me curious (not in that way).

  • Comment number 39.

    I am pretty sure youn will like 1901 by Phoenix on first listen Curtains...

  • Comment number 40.

    You and Me by Delays is another 5 star song !

    Glorious !!!

    Oh and so is Girl's on Fire !

  • Comment number 41.

    I just watched Nearer than Heaven on YouTube and it is lovely, I am awaiting the album eagerly.

    As an aside, it got me nostalgic for Felt and there is a great cover of Primitive Painters by the Manic Street Preachers on Youtube.

  • Comment number 42.

    In other news in the charts , I expect tonights top 3 to look like this :

    2) OWL CITY

    I expect Jedward to be out of the top 5 , and a new Glee track to be in the top 20.....

  • Comment number 43.

    Well if the Irish chart is anything to go by, HALO/WALKING ON SUNSHINE and IT'S MY LIFE/CONFESSIONS PART II by the GLEE CAST should appear in the Top 10.

  • Comment number 44.

    The Delays are good band, just been listening to some of their stuff, personal favourites at the moment are Valentine, Long Time Coming, Girl's On Fire and You & Me.

    Also in unrelated news, I commented on Rybak a while back that Diana Vickers new single Once sounded amazing and now the full version is up on youtube. High expectation for her album.

    And finally Kate Nash has thrown up a bit of a suprise by premiering a new song I Just Love You More that sounds like Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I'll post the link below incase it gets removed.

  • Comment number 45.

  • Comment number 46.


    Adieu !

  • Comment number 47.

    The Big Pink are pretty dull. Bombay look brilliant and apparently The Maccabees never disappoint.

  • Comment number 48.

    THE DRUMS were superb , Johnathan is brilliant frontman , and took time to chat to many people afterwards.
    I had to do some surveys after the gig , and many people were highly complimentary , the album is a corker and will be out in June .
    The biggest audience reaction was for LET'S GO SURFING.

    THE BIG PINK were entertaining and the crowd went wild for VELVET and DOMINOS . They had a female drummer who wore only bra and panties which distracted from the fact that the band had only 2 stand out tracks.

    BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB made brilliant sonic textures with their musicianship
    The highlight was a superb version of ALWAYS LIKE THIS.

    THE MACCABEES had a horn section with them , and had the audience from the first song . They sounded more muscular than on record , and Orlando Weeks was a very charming frontman .
    The highlights were a stripped back TOOTHPASTE KISSES , a powerful NO KIND WORDS , a jangly version of ORANGE JUICE'S RIP IT UP , and an uplifting encore of LOVE YOU BETTER.

    All in all , a great night !

  • Comment number 49.

    The Help for Haiti single went to number 1 on sales of 453,000 copies in it's first week !

    Superb stuff !

  • Comment number 50.

    From what I've seen of The Drums live Jonathon comes across a bit like Morrisey with all the flamboyant hand gestures.

  • Comment number 51.

    Yep , he is a big fan of the Smiths .
    And quite frankly , The Smiths were brilliant .

  • Comment number 52.

    Bet the Maccabees were brilliant. Nice to see Orange Juice remembered outside of a Wild Beasts review.

  • Comment number 53.

    I thought The Big Pink had better than the two, frankly terrible, lead tracks, when I saw them.

    The Drums are an exciting prospect though!

  • Comment number 54.

    Oh , forgot to say , The DRUMS signed to a major 3 weeks ago . Momentum is building .

  • Comment number 55.

    OK , as we have been discussing the wonderful French band PHOENIX on this link , time to let Harry know , that we have an English band very sonically similar , that I think he will like .

    Start one track at a time . . .

    The band is ROYWORLD and the track is DUST .

    To me it's a 5 star song !

    Why ?

    1) The hypnotic intro.

    2) The first verse when Rob sings " You and I will never die "
    And " How many times can I tell you I love you ? "

    3) How the melody changes going into the first bridge when Rob sings

    "You never believed in yourself "

    And the "Now that the city is burning . "

    4) The fantastic uplifting chorus where Rob is "radioing in and radioing out "

    Superb song , give it about 3 plays and tell me what you think.

    The album is superb , and another song BRAKES means an awful lot to me.

  • Comment number 56.

    *Sorry got Rob Hawkins from The Automatic on my mind for an obvious reason m, the lead singer of Royworld is the brilliant Rod Futrille .

    Sorry Rod !

  • Comment number 57.

    Dust is a decent track, I wouldn't say it's a 5 Star track more 3 or 4 Stars it just feels a bit too middle of road for me. I like the way that Phoenix are very accesible yet have something a bit different about them, much in the same way that the Delays are a bit different.

  • Comment number 58.

    Yeah , it's quite hard for a band to be accessible yet unique at the same time .

    Interesting topic . . .


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