The latest from the post-Britpop legends, Easy Eighth Album, is full of reflective and groovy dance anthems. The Chiefs’ new retro-disco style is impressive at times, yet I can’t help but miss their classic Rock feel.

The album sees frontman Ricky Wilson in a contemplative mood, looking back on the bands’ hugely successful career to date. This is embodied best in the final track, ‘The Lads’, a highly communal number summing up the nostalgic nature of the album. It’s a great closing song to conclude their bold new sound, whilst also acknowledging their success.

Previous releases ‘Jealousy’ and ‘How 2 Dance’ exhibit what Kaiser Chiefs do best: breakthrough belters for the world’s dancefloors as both tracks plunge listeners into the aura of catchy riffs, relatable lyrics and singable choruses. These expected touchstones combine with a barrage of new electronic and dance sounds which are reminiscent of the ’80s pop the band grew up with.

The key influence here is mid-period Duran Duran; “I was listening to loads of Duran Duran while we were making this album and I love the way they’re somewhere between corny and brilliant,” Wilson enthuses. “They’ve got this façade of a stupid pop band, but when you listen to them you realise that bands like Duran or Wet Wet Wet wrote some absolutely mind-blowing tunes.”

Album opener, Feeling Alright, sets the tone in a huge, swaggering funky style. Albeit it’s a little jarring on first listen because I wasn’t convinced I was even listening to the Kaiser Chiefs. Similar to Arctic Monkeys’ release of The Car in 2022, I was unsure of the new style to begin with but have grown to love the sound, which I am sure will be the case here the more familiar it becomes.

It feels as though the band are trying to reinvent themselves, but most fans love them for the hits from the first couple of albums, so it will take some getting used to their new electronic feel. With this in mind, it is unsurprising that the band wanted to try out a new style. It has been 20 years since ‘Oh My God’ and ‘I Predict A Riot’ catapulted them to national attention, and the years have given the five-piece Kaisers a togetherness that has survived all sort of ups and downs.

However, the old sound is echoed in a different way in ‘Job Centre Shuffle’ which nods to an earlier generation of Leeds bands. The low vocals combined with the classy, orchestrated, synth-like instrumentals confirm its ‘classic’ status; I can see this song becoming just as big as some of their other classic indie hits.

The backdrop of this new album, in its easy nature, reflects the joy that it was to make, and the unity prevalent is what makes the songs so strong and cohesive. It has an endearing, upbeat quality and the band’s creativity has clearly evolved to this point in their career to allow them to easily craft this record, most likely due to their togetherness as a group.