After 2005’s Employment put Kaiser Chiefs on the map with their The Jam-meets-Blur blend of Brit Rock, the band rode a wave of success on the singles “Oh My God” and “I Predict a Riot”. Now two years later the band returns with Yours Truly, Angry Mob.
While Employment wasn’t as startling a debut as contemporaries like Maximo Park or Arctic Monkeys, the band showed promise with their classic-aping sound and ruminations of working class England. Angry Mob follows that same pattern, with almost the same results. Less anthemic than Employment, and somewhat more mature, the band still stumbles to sound original.
That’s not to say there isn’t anything worthwhile here; Lead single and first track “Ruby” is a stormer, as is “The Angry Mob”. A late album highlight is the brilliant, Morrissey-esque “Boxing Champ”, and “Everything is Average Nowadays” winks to the Buzzcocks’ “Everybody’s Happy Nowadays”.
The middle section of the album finds itself sinking into generics; many tracks kind go through the motions, nothing here is a hooky or exciting as their debut’s “Every Day I Love You Less and Less” or “Na Na Na Na Naa”. Lyrically Ricky Wilson tackles the same themes as before, with some clever quips and insights into middle class England.
Angry Mob doesn’t necessarily classify as a sophomore slump, since it’s more or less a continuation of their debut. With any luck the band will find it in them to regroup and not simply retread their older material, and finally take that next step forward.