2005 – Universal – 45 mins

Named after a South African soccer outfit, Leeds quintet Kaiser Chiefs release this, their debut, amid a fair degree of fuss. But bluster is nothing new with over hyped young bands, and this crowd are no exception.

There are some decent moments on ‘Employment’, but not enough, and even above-average efforts like ‘You Can Have It All’ are surrounded by such mediocrity that they get swamped in the collective malaise. Tracks like ‘Oh My God’ and ‘I Predict A Riot’ are simply 12 months too late, and Franz Ferdinand, for all their faults, did it better then.

Where Kaiser Chiefs shine is in their ability to filter influences and nail down three-minute songs of undeniable energy and confidence. But the shrewdest magpies know not to get caught, and time and again here the resonance of bands like The Fall, Blur and countless others is simply too obvious to pass off as homage.

There is a real student feel to Kaiser Chiefs, but they lack the necessary ‘screw you’ vibe that has characterised the most memorable new bands. This lot are a rag week bunch, a bit of short lived fun before the novelty quickly wears off. They might go on to better things, but in the meantime check out Bloc Party instead.

Tom Grealis


Tracklisting: Everyday I Love You Less and Less - I Predict A Riot - Modern Way - Na Na Na Na Naa - You Can Have It All - Oh My God - Born To Be A Dancer - Saturday Night - What Did I Ever Give You? - Time Honoured Tradition - Caroline, Yes - Team Mate