NPR logo Looking for Kicks, with a Hooligan's Swagger

Looking for Kicks, with a Hooligan's Swagger

Everything Is Average Nowadays

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

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Thursday's Pick

  • Song: "Everything Is Average Nowadays"
  • Artist: The Kaiser Chiefs
  • CD: Yours Truly, Angry Mob
  • Genre: Rock

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.

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Yours Truly, Angry Mob
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