The Grammys are over and done with and I am happy about it. The Grammys once again proved to be one of the most worthless award shows on the market, giving the Best New Artist award to Maroon 5 over Kanye West, who was also nominated for Best Album of the Year. Just like most years, overrated artists got nominations, while underrated ones did not. It’s just the same old, same old.

But let’s not dwell in the past – we have a new year of music ahead of us, one that could be dominated by new artists the way Franz Ferdinand, Kanye West or The Killers did this past summer. This time it will be by an English import, a band of four dirty guys from a working class town in Kasabian.

Haven’t heard of them? It’s OK. Kasabian just made it to American shores to tour in support of their self-titled freshman album, which is to be released in America on March 8th. The album is sure to make an impact.

Kasabian set itself up for stardom from the start, proclaiming they would single-handedly breathe new life into British rock. They feel their job is to keep the hip and trendy perplexed, and so far they have been highly successful on both counts.

So what to expect? The band describes themselves as a classic British rock ‘n’ roll band featuring a lot of strutting around and tight trousers.

Critics liken their sound to a marriage between the rhythm of the early Rolling Stones and the psychedelic arrangements of Pink Floyd that bore an electronica-inspired offspring. These comparisons are no stretch, as many of their songs begin in the classic rock formula before evolving into a complex progression of techno-spiked rock, creating a wall of sound. One part violent, one part danceable, Kasabian’s songs leave you wondering if they should just shut up and have a good time, or if they should trash the place.

The band may enter America as newcomers, but they will not be inexperienced. Their debut landed them at No. 3 on the British charts last year, while they have been on tour for the past two years across Europe and Japan.

Kasabian’s plan in the states is similar to that it used on its home turf, playing anywhere and anytime before their album’s release. The buzz the band created in England led to sold-out shows of 14,000 people a month before the band’s album was in stores.

Plus, the band features one of the most badass names that may be over the head of many of their listeners. Their name was lifted from Linda Kasabian, the infamous getaway driver of the Manson family, who was granted immunity in the 1970s for her testimony against Manson.

So, is this the first coming of the second great British invasion? Probably not, but Kasabian is just the type of band that doesn’t need any help.

Allard can be reached at dallard@campustimes.org.



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