Kasabian performs Tuesday, November 21, at Gypsy Tea Room.
If "Reason Is Treason" as Kasabian claimed on their breakthrough self-titled debut, then the overproduction and megalomania of Empire is treachery of the highest decree. Like the majority of sophomore efforts from 2004 buzz bands (see: Franz Ferdinand, The Killers), the latest from this band of Brits trades in the ecstasy and dank discotheque trance of previous singles such as "Club Foot" and "Processed Beats" for lesser, emotionless songs disguised as grandiose artistic visions. The breakdown lull of the title track and the sweeping violins of "Sun Rise Light Flies" can't hide the fact that the intoxicating brutish bravado of Kasabian is gone. And quite frankly, there's nothing here that hasn't been done before. The platonic love of "Me Plus One" tastes like twice-filtered Beatles (Oasis, Jet), "By My Side" plays the angel worse than Depeche Mode, and the overdone, mariachi trumpets of "The Doberman" summarize the hysteria of Muse's Black Holes and Revelations. Hopefully this Empire strikes back live.