In April, The Horrors' third album Skying continued from the success of their second - a sprawling, soaring, mind-altered homage to the era of Stone Roses and The Jesus And Mary Chain. Arctic Monkeys returned in May with arguably their most progressive album yet. A bold collection of rock 'n' roll joyrides with exquisite lyrics: "That's not a skirt girl, that's a sawn off shotgun - and I can only hope you've got it aimed at me."
And now come Kasabian, with an outstanding gang of tracks written and produced by Serge Pizzorno. The guitarist claims that an inspirational Mexican spirit would visit him at night as he looked after his baby son, but to really believe that would be to defer the credit.
It's rife with classic, psychedelic '60s influences. In the Beatles-borrowing 'La Fee Verte', lyrics of "I see Lucy in the sky, telling me I'm high" wash over a Sgt. Pepper's-saluting backdrop. Uplifting opening track 'Lets Roll Just Like We Used To' doffs its cap to Arthur Lee's Love and slips unashamedly into Last Shadow Puppets territory with soaring vocals, strings and horns.
But it sounds unmistakably modern too: techno-infused teaser single 'Switchblade Smiles' is a dark destroyer. A rumbling, explosive, war-cry ("Move back! Violence is coming!" spits frontman Tom Meighan) that will shake roof slates free at the Leicester foursome's live shows with its machine gun beats. 'Rewired' and 'Days Are Forgotten' are the electrifying sound of songs born to ignite stadium-sized crowds.
This is a band that - now on their fourth album, no mean feat in itself - have transformed themselves from their earliest incarnation to something far more exciting. Velociraptor! by name; red-fanged, powerful and dangerous by nature. Hold on tight and enjoy the ride. One of the best albums of the year is a wild beast.
Watch Serge Pizzorno discuss Velociraptor! below: