Off With Their Heads (Universal)
Brit-rock upstarts Kaiser Chiefs started out threatening to start a riot, but on their second outing, Yours Truly, Angry Mob, they sounded like they'd settle for a game of knock-and-run at the next door neighbour's house.
They've thrown in the towel completely with Off With Their Heads, but the result is a mature slice of XTC-influenced post-punk rock that's more consistent than anything they've delivered so far.
The quintet (vocalist Ricky Wilson, below, guitarist Andrew White, bassist Simon Rix, keyboardist Nick Baines and drummer Nick Hodgson) teamed up with super-producer Mark Ronson (Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse) to make an album of pop that's boisterous, witty and accomplished. It's aimed at filling stadiums, but Never Miss a Beat and Like it Too Much would sound just as good in a garage.
The album comes inside a book with glossy photos, lyrics and a bonus CD featuring four of the tracks recorded live at Elland Road in their native Leeds in May.
Off With Their Heads has its patchy moments, but overall it's a good recovery from a band many would like to see beheaded for crimes against music.