At times it's a slo-mo reveal, as the weird krautrock interlude "Swarfiga" does little to create momentum, but slowly glimmers of inspiration transform themselves into comets, and it becomes undeniable; Kasabian's best career work is here. "Vlad The Impaler" is the grittiest of psychedelic funk workouts, sweating like Parliament tripping on the neat essence of the 13th Floor Elevators, Meighan's incantation "We are the last beatniks, the last heretics" sounding a little less ridiculous with every repeat. "West Ryder Silver Bullet" is even further from their roots, a duet with Hollywood Valkyrie Rosario Dawson, concocted from cinematic eastern harmonies, anything goes percussion and demented, circular waltz-like beats. And in the end they finally deliver on a legacy they've often laid claim to, but never before fulfilled, as with "Fire" they manage to sound like the Stones of the early-80s, part groove, part blues and all mass market thrills and greasy stadium rock excess. What their chief sponsors Noel and Liam Gallagher will make of it all is anyone's guess.
More and more it seems, rock is rejecting pop on the grounds of its superficiality. Kasabian have challenged their audience to make the leap of faith with them. And West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum is worth that journey in the dark.