Musically, WRPLA aims to replicate the psychedelic acid-rock nuttiness of their idols Primal Scream and The Stones. It would be easy to write it off as dreary retro waffle, and call Kasabian lad rockers who are all mouth and no trousers, but to bunch this band alongside Ocean Colour Scene, The Kooks and Jet as mere revivalists of a bygone age of guitar rock would be totally unjust. No matter how tempting it is to make fun of frontman Tom Meighan's bragging ramblings, no other guitar band will release an album as sprawling or OTT as this all year. With Gorillaz producer Dan The Automator in the studio, the band have shifted away from the tub-thumping anthems of previous album Empire and Pizzorno's stellar guitar skills successfully wrestle their way to the fore.
Occasionally they slip up, as on the Kinks rip-off 'Thick As Thieves' and preachy 'Where Did All The Love Go' ("Whatever happened to the youth of this generation?"), with the group letting inspiration turn into imitation. However, when Kasabian let loose on their own rampaging road movie rock 'n' roll, they begin to live up to the bravado. The most conventional 'hit' is opener 'Underdog', which many will already be familiar with thanks to a certain Nike advert. It's a monster-sized guitar anthem to sit alongside early hits 'LSF' and 'Club Foot' - sure to go down well on their Oasis support slots, but nowhere near the best of WRPLA.
It's not until the instrumental rumbles and bleeps of 'Swarfiga' three tracks in, followed by the spiky electro-garage thrill of 'Fast Fuse' that the band truly hit their stride. The latter struts like a prize peacock and is probably the best thing Kasabian have ever done. Elsewhere, 'West Ryder Silver Bullet' is a seductive duet with actress Rosario Dawson, lead single 'Fire' fuses spaghetti western with scuzzy rock, 'Take Aim' finds Serge singing over hip-hop beats, and 'Ladies & Gentleman' is a woozy, hypnotic comedown to calm the nerves after the kitchen sink wallop of 'Vlad The Impaler'. Critics may still sneer at their Gallagher-esque approach to lyrics (if it sounds good, it's going in) and frontman Meighan's faux-Manc accent, but for its sheer ambition and bravado, WRPLA deserves our respect.