© 2021 KOSU
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Looking for Kicks, with a Hooligan's Swagger

Kaiser Chiefs' members don't impart any grand messages on "Everything Is Average Nowadays."
Kaiser Chiefs' members don't impart any grand messages on "Everything Is Average Nowadays."

The lout is underrated. Even in rock 'n' roll, that a great source of democratization, it's still assumed that the underclass will use its newfound voice to speak to the universal human condition in one form or another. Even as pure a blast of rage and chaos as "Anarchy in the U.K." comes with a concrete (if generalized) target attached, when it's not being picked apart for its Situationalist undertones. Mindless destruction simply won't do.

Bollocks, says Kaiser Chiefs' Ricky Wilson in "Everything Is Average Nowadays." In spite of its proclamatory title, there's no grand message to be shared here: These guys are simply bored and looking for kicks, with a football hooligan's swagger and a driving, mod-revival rhythm borrowed from The Jam circa All Mod Cons.

But it's a Bizarro World version, giving the impression that Kaiser Chiefs' version of "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight" would cast the band's members not as the horrified victims of a vicious beating, but as the instigators. "All I need is a ball and a wall / or a sledge on a hill in heavy weather," they say, but the implication is that if they're not supplied with the tools to distract themselves, they'll make their own fun.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Marc Hirsh
Marc Hirsh lives in the Boston area, where he indulges in the magic trinity of improv comedy, competitive adult four square and music journalism. He has won trophies for one of these, but refuses to say which.
Hey! Did you enjoy this story? We can’t do it without you. We are member-supported, so your donation is critical to KOSU's news reporting and music programming. Help support the reporters, DJs and staff of the station you love.

Here's how: