When you hear the first measures of “Everyday I Love You Less and Less” off of the Kaiser Chiefs’ Employment, don’t be fooled. You haven’t accidentally put in a Roxy Music CD, nor have you magically been transported back to the days of synthesizers. The Kaiser Chiefs have merely put a fresh new spin on the old new wave and mod music that you love.
The Kaiser Chiefs are half new wave revivalists and half garage rock enthusiasts. Formed in Leeds, England, the boys have distinguished themselves from the rest of the crop by being more willing to pay tribute to the electronic-laden music of the’80s while still churning out songs that provide an indistinguishable kick.
On Employment, singer Ricky Wilson reveals himself to be a man easily outraged. He seeks to tell the world of his relationship woes, singing “I’ve got to get this message to the press / That everyday I love you less and less.” On “Oh My God,” Wilson cries, “Knock me down and I get right back up again / Come back stronger than a powered-up Pac-Man,” giving nods to his ’80s influences. Meanwhile, the track “Na Na Na Na Naa” seems like some sort of playground rejection of love. With “I Predict a Riot,” the album’s most urgent song, Wilson channels the late Joe Strummer with lines like, “A friend of a friend he got beaten / He looked the wrong way at a policeman,” while Andrew White and Nick Baines shred the guitar and pound away on the keyboard, respectively.
Despite the heartbreak and civil disobedience, proto-punk junkies will have plenty to dance to with the Kaiser Chiefs’ latest. It seems these young Englishmen should have no trouble finding a job with Employment.
[Brad Vargas makes love like a panther.]