‘A sign of the times as the band and their fans grow up’
Maisy Farren
11:33 19th July 2019

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Almost 15 years ago, the Kaiser Chiefs were the voice of the millennia. ‘I Predict A Riot’, and ‘Every Day I Love You Less and Less’ were go-to floor fillers for the badly dressed 20-year-olds of 2005. Whilst bands like Razorlight and The Libertines were doing the whole London thing, Kaiser Chiefs were singing about brawls on Leeds’ Briggate and the northern grit of growing up in Keighley. Fast forward to 2019, and after a career that was distracted by judging The Voice and doing Yorkshire Tea adverts, they’re working on getting integral sense of identity back.  

Duck crashes into a strong start, with the recognisably anthemic ‘People Know How To Love One Another’, a lead single which was made to be yelled out in a stadium, hands in the air, rhythmically clapping along with frontman Ricky Wilson and his tambourine. This crowd-pleasing tune is an anti-Brexit tonic in a world seemingly crueller than 2005, it’s like one of Coldplay’s biggest hits but without the depression, and it’s entirely reminiscent of the band’s indie heyday. But sadly, that’s where the excitement of the album loses steam. ‘Target Market’ and ‘The Only Ones’ are light hearted indie songs with the energy of an opening act for a Courteeners gig. Their sound takes a few twists and turns along the way, ‘Record Collection’ has a Pet Shop Boys-esque electro sound and ‘Northern Holiday’ offers a fun and excitable beat that leaves the album heading out on a good note. The band excel, as they always have done, in building up an atmospheric scene, and in ‘Don’t Just Stand There, Do Something’ the riotous 4am street scene of ‘I Predict A Riot’ is replaced by the tension of a few too many beers in a bank holiday beer garden, a sign of the times as the band and their fans grow up.  

Whilst this review may be primarily negative, that’s not to say we didn’t enjoy the album. For a fan of the Kaiser Chiefs, or of early 2000s indie, it’s easy listening for a midweek night, music to come home and cook a stir fry too. Bass player Simon Rix told us that they’d written an album that “has Kaiser Chiefs DNA”, and that it certainly does. It’s testament to the Kaiser Chiefs that just the style of the album will leave you eager to delve into their back catalogue, pull out your old CD of Yours Truly, Angry Mob and sing along to every word. And despite the slightly lacklustre impact of Duck, it features enough good singles to justify getting a ticket for their 2020 tour and reliving the indie dream for one more night. 

Duck is released on 26 July 2019 via Polydor. 

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