BLACK ONASSIS

J100BLACK ONASSIS – ‘Desensitized’
Black Onassis is ex-Kasabian guitarist and founding member Chris Karloff’s new project, alongside Nick Forde. So it was with great expectation that I downloaded Desensitized onto my USB stick, stuck it in my car headunit, cranked up the 5-channel amp and let it rip.  In many ways Desensitized carries that influential Kasabian sound but it is such a bizarre listening experience and so utterly inexplicable that it makes you crave Sergio Pizzorno’s original Special K.  The electronic processed beats relentlessly pound the subwoofer in that classic Kasabian manner we’ve come to know and love, yet it somehow fails to deliver a cohesive body of work. The title track is an edgy vocal reverb that tricks you into thinking the album might be something it is not.  From then on however the potential is unfulfilled, with each track almost entirely instrumental bar some minimal vocal contribution.  Take ‘Humans Animals’ which is a repetition of the title, underpinned by what can only be described as a dance track.  And so it goes – odd-numbered tracks ‘TripB’, ‘Brain’ and ‘Innocence Blitz’ use their guest singers well and the result is palatable.  While even-numbered cuts ‘Iso’, ‘XXL’ and ‘Mono’ are heavily dance filled; strobe lighting ‘n all, bottles of Evian and glo-sticks.  If you’re looking for comparators – it’s essentially a Kasabian album re-mixed by Moby, but not the sort to grace tv adverts.  Fans of Kasabian will want to love Desensitized, but instead of grabbing by the short and curlies and swinging you around the room, it teases with momentary jabs, tempting you with what might have been.  On the plus side there’s much variety; each track serving up something different to grapple with.  Too often though such variation is to the detriment of the album as a whole; which is not what Desensitized deserves.  (6)
SIMON BUNTER

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