Kaiser Chiefs

Yours Truly, Angry Mob (B-Unique/Universal)

The British Invasion of 2004-2005 was a brutal offensive. The Futureheads, Franz Ferdinand, and Maximo Park coordinated their melodic post-punk assault with Jam and XTC badges boldly emblazoned on their sleeves. But this strike force had a weak link — arena-rock wannabes the Kaiser Chiefs. The latter came armed with a couple choice weapons in the form of über-catchy singles "I Predict a Riot" and "Everyday I Love You Less and Less." But this façade couldn't mask the boys' inherent songwriting weakness, exposed fully on their new effort.

On Yours Truly, Angry Mob, we get it, Kaiser Chiefs: You're a bunch of working-class blokes from Leeds, running around drinking, fighting, and loving, as detailed on the punk-ish romp, "Highroyds." But even singer Ricky Wilson's Simon Le Bon vocals can't disguise the boring alt-rock spirit that pervades uninspired slow jams like "I Can Do It Without You." It's a shame, too, because the band proved it can infect your brain with spry new-wave anthems on its debut. But it seems the Chiefs' facile Angry Mobcould use firing up before it sinks back into the rank and file of modern rock. Jonah Flicker

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