The Alchemist's Euphoria

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The Alchemist's Euphoria

The Alchemist's Euphoria

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Although Pizzorno’s reedy squeak usually sounds more suited to psych-folk played in regional arts centres, Meighan was always better on stage than in the studio, and is only missed here for his ability to sell a chorus. The middle tune boasts two of the best moments on the record, as a haunted beat drifts out of the melody like an emergency shuttle detaching from a space station, preceding an abrupt aural shift – into a ‘90s hip-hop-style instrumental – that would make ‘Yeezus’-era Kanye West proud. Back in May, the frontman told NME: “This album was just us saying, ‘Let’s see what we can do – let’s see where we can take this’. Smith (who’s worked with Stormzy and shared knob-twiddling duties with Pizzorno), but there’s darkness there too.

Smyth described the album as "punchy", writing that "Scriptvre" has "crunching breakbeats and snarling guitars" and "Rocket Fuel" is "a bit silly really, with its mix of rave synths and chanted vocals".It is Kasabian's first album in five years, following For Crying Out Loud (2017), and first to feature Serge Pizzorno as a sole lead vocalist after former frontman Tom Meighan was fired in 2020 amid his domestic assault conviction. Musikalisch vielleicht eines der besten Kasabian Alben – hierfür gibt es von mir die volle Punktzahl. Having seen the planet from a whole new angle, with all the realigned perceptions that come along with an out-of-body experience, our central figure arrives at the record’s end point.

New single ‘Scriptvre’ arrives in the wake of their snappy track ‘Alygatyr’ and heralds a brave new world from Serge’s magic kingdom.Reviewing the album for The Guardian, Michael Hann felt that the album "goes for broke" and "teems with ideas that don't always land", and despite Pizzorno's "imagination elevat[ing] them above their lad-rock leanings", as a vocalist he is "adequate but unremarkable". The fact that the track shifts from plaintive acoustic guitar to a thumping house beat and swirling synths – and all in the space of about 60 seconds – tells you everything you need to know about the Kasabian 2. His voice is pleasant enough, and it doesn’t feel out of place, but there’s nothing distinctive about it; none of Meighan’s come-and-have-a-go presence.

Folky acoustic jig ‘Letting Go’ twinkles with the magic dust we’ve come to expect from co-producer Fraser T.The album’s centrepiece is a problem, too: a three-piece suite of apparently “space-inspired tracks”, The Wall, TUE (the ultraview effect) and Stargazr. Meighan, on the other hand, provided the visceral connection with their fanbase – the simian frontman in the Liam Gallagher mould, the embodiment of the audience’s aspirations. Of the new album, Kasabian’s seventh, he adds: “One thing about this record I feel over the other ones, is it definitely feels like a body of work that belongs together. The songs that feel more conventional – Strictly Old Skool, for example – come as something of a relief as a result. The group’s resulting seventh album, ‘The Alchemist’s Euphoria’, is a whipsmart collection that pings from classic Kasabian piss-up chant-alongs (scything lead single ‘ALYGATYR’; the tellingly titled ‘ROCKET FUEL’) to starry eyed ballads – with, perhaps surprisingly, the emphasis on the latter.

Even if your head’s not right, it’ll be alright,” Serge sings softly, “if you just start letting go”, his steely resolve revealing the sense of rebirth at the core of ‘The Alchemist’s Euphoria’. Kasabian’s future seemed very much in doubt without their former frontman to sell the band’s unique brand of psychedelic party anthems. It’s the kind of thing you might more readily expect to hear on the Calm app than on the new one from the tub-thumping lad-rockers who barreled in with the rifftastic ‘Club Foot’ back in 2004.The first is a generic MOR phone-torch-waver, the third an electronic burble with a cursory verse, while the second spends its last couple of minutes doing the laziest thing a track supposedly about space can do – emulating the sound of early-70s Pink Floyd, right down to the Nick Mason-style rolls around the drum kit. Hann found The Alchemist's Euphoria "offers up some of the bullish, uptempo rock that sets moshpits roiling. Pizzorno wasn’t exactly Thom Yorke, pushing the band into wildly uncommercial directions and trusting the audience to follow, but thanks to his musical curiosity and willingness to stray from lad-rock’s desire lines, Kasabian’s catalogue has always had plenty of moments capable of raising an eyebrow.

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