Sound — 8
This is one of the bands, whose story can start with "We never thought we would get this famous..." When the Kaiser Chiefs started in summer 2003, five Britpop-obsessed oddballs had quite modest fantasies. Frontman Ricky Wilson, guitarist Andrew 'Whitey' White, bassist Simon Rix, keyboard player Nick 'Peanut' Baines drummer and Nick Hodgson decided to form a band hopping to get an early slot at the following year's Leeds Festival. Only 18 months after that they became more famous then they could ever imagine they would. Before naming themselves after a successful South African soccer team, school friends Simon, Peanut and Nick had been playing together in various bands since the age of 15. They persuaded art-school graduate Ricky, who was singing with a Rolling Stones tribute band at that time, to join the band. Being at the core of this country's most lively local music scene made the band realize they had to raise their game musically. They were so excited about the festival that ditches all their old songs and had a new name for the band. "We stopped singing about working on a railroad and going to high school proms and starting writing about being broke in Leeds' Hyde Park," Ricky said. Being recorded in Nick's bedroom, the first self-financed single Oh My God, made it to number 66 in UK charts. The follower I Predict a Riot went straight up to the Top 20. They signed a deal with Universal and were picked to open the NME Awards Tour 2005. Blur producer Stephen Street got so interested, that offered to work with them on a debut album. Five former losers from Leeds - as they call themselves with a sense of self-mockery- finally started making a living; that is why the first album of Kaiser Chiefs is called Employment. Hell knows how many bands they were compared to - Blur, Franz Ferdinand, The Kinks, to name a few. I'm sure, it would be great if every band could be 100% fresh, but that doesn't happen much. Even though every song on the album reminds of something else (I still can't stop thinking about Air's Playground Love video every time I hear Team Mate), they still sound awesome. Most of the tracks on the record are unpredictable - they start out quite plain, but have great breaks and sudden changes in rhythm which make the music very enjoyable and the keyboards on the record give body to the arrangement.
Lyrics — 10
Don't expect something serious from this record. From their mindless random yelling in every other song, to their ridiculous dumb lyrics ("Every Day I Love You Less and Less" rhymes with "It makes me sick to think of you undressed" and "Yes, I'm stressed, I'm sorry I digress"), the Kaiser Chiefs are not aiming for complexity. They are singing about everyday life that seems too obvious to sing about - girlfriends who move to London, friends who get beaten up by cops, dead-end jobs, and, finally, just na-na-nas. I love their humor in music and enjoy silly in every form on the record.
Overall Impression — 10
I just couldn't help smiling while listening to the album. That is not 'cause all the songs are happy songs, but they all are just so enthusiastic in their performance. "Employment" is so much fun and is an explosion of catchy song after catchy song; the Kaiser Chiefs make you want to sing along with practically every song by the second chorus. Being not a very loud person myself, my legs shook in time through the whole album. The first song of the album Everyday I Love You Less and Less starts out with electric, video game-type sound effects. Ricky Wilson's British accent only adds the old-school punk charm to this humorous "falling out of love" song. I Predict a Riot is one of the year's catchiest singles. In this vintage Clash-style song Wilson grabs you with the opening line, "Watching the people get lairy/It's not very pretty, I tell thee" - that is an awesome idea to use "thee" in an pop song. Among my favorites are also noisy Saturday Night and lite-reggae What Did I Ever Give You? with a haunting melody. It's obvious the guys are still making fun of what they're doing. Now when asking about his plans for the future, Ricky says "I won't stop until I've got an apartment in every major city in the world. New York. Helsinki. And Harrogate. Also, I want all my ex-girlfriends to recognise me on Top Of The Pops. But above all, I want to get a new filling for my tooth."