Kula Shaker – Peasants, Pigs & Astronauts

I always knew about this band, but never bought an album. When I found it at work for cheap, it was worth a shot. I also remember this album cover as a huge poster hanging at the top of the escalator in the 333 Yonge St. HMV in Toronto. Get it? Because the dude’s coming up the escalator? Anyway.

So many influences here, I mean, most of classic rock, from the Beatles up through Pink Floyd and some other prog stuff too. There’s also some great heavier rock edges mixed in. Throw some Eastern sounds, some bagpipes, hammond organ, horns, acoustic and buzzing electric guitars, and lots of backing vocals into the soup and you have a really, really cool record.

The musicianship here is the major selling point, for me. It’s flawless. The band grooves and those guitars just soar (I really liked the guitar work). It totally sounds like the 60s, but updated to its current time (1999).

I should note, I have never cared much at all for the Britpop wave. The only ones I could stand out of all of it were Radiohead and Stone Roses, and I’d put this one in that latter category if I had to… but these guys are their own animal, and it’s all friggin’ beautiful.

The sound is superb (production-wise), the album flows from one track to the next like one giant party, and if you’re a fan already, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

There’s a joy here, something in making the music that comes across as just truly happy to be doing it, instead of it being a calculated move into a genre.  I liked this spacey, rocking jam CD very, very much!

Two thumbs way up.

32 thoughts on “Kula Shaker – Peasants, Pigs & Astronauts

  1. jprobichaud says:

    Love this album! And like Ladano I prefer this one to K but the debut is quite good too. Their still producing but it’s pretty spotty stuff.

    Like

    1. keepsmealive says:

      It’s really something, eh? You know, I’ve been getting mixed reports between this one and the debut. I’m starting to think I just need to own them both and be done with it!

      Good to know they’re still going. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Half-remembered from decades ago? Dude, you’re doing better than me, I can’t tell you what I did last Tuesday.

      I’ve had more than one recommend for the debut, so I’ll be hearing it shortly!

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      1. Vinyl Connection says:

        Sure. Just played ‘K’ and Ms Connection and I both enjoyed it. For every Oasis reminder, there’s something a bit different – and vitamised psychedelic pill or an exotic Eastern spice – making it a fun and pleasant way to spend 40 minutes. And that ain’t a bad thing.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. keepsmealive says:

          Yup. And see, even though there were a couple of tracks that might have strayed into Oasis territory, I felt (with this recrd) that it was more studiously trying to avoid that stuff by using all of those other sounds and influences. And any band that wants to avoid sounding like Oasis is fine by me.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Vinyl Connection says:

            I actually quite like Oasis. And I’d love to stay up all night debating (in the friendliest fashion imaginable) their pros and cons, but it’s my bedtime. Maybe another day? Definitely!

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            1. keepsmealive says:

              For sure all deference is meant for fans of the band. My own personal opinion (well-documented in these pages, I think) is just that. I dunno whether debate on pros and cons would help – I get the feeling we’d have to agree to disagree.

              Bedtime? We just got up, here! 🙂

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  2. J. says:

    I only have their first album (bought a while back on CD for £1) and there was enough on there that I enjoyed – a ‘modern’ take on the psychedelic 60s!

    Don’t think I ever heard any of this one, though. Maybe the novelty of Kula Shaker had worn off by then. Or ol’ Mills’ misguided swastika stuff got in the way.

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    1. keepsmealive says:

      “a ‘modern’ take on the psychedelic 60s!”

      Yup, that’s the way. And a few other sounds besides! As for the misguided stuff, I didn’t even look into anything about the band – I just plugged it in and hit play! Unfortunate if he did some dummy stuff on the side.

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      1. J. says:

        I don’t remember the exact details, but it was something to do with wearing the swastika, maybe also suggesting Hitler was fairly misunderstood. He later apologised, of course. All a big misunderstanding.

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        1. keepsmealive says:

          Wow, that sounds… unfortunate. When I was reading through some Amazon reviews, I found this:

          “Crispian Mills has excellent showbiz credentials, being the grandson of Sir John and the son of Hayley Mills. But unlike, say, Julian or Sean Lennon, he has the talent and wit to stand in his own right. The only legacy of his famous family seems to be his looks and the fact that he seems to be raving mad. Being a fruitloop is, of course, no barrier to making great rock ‘n’ roll though, and it’s surprising Kula Shaker (now defunct) didn’t make a better fist of it than they did, especially with a record as sophisticated as this.”

          As you’d say, “ooft!”

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          1. J. says:

            Yeah. I think it may have hurt their momentum a little – I wasn’t into them (I came to the party a lot later), but there was a fair bit of noise around K (biggest selling UK debut since Definitely Maybe, y’know!)

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            1. keepsmealive says:

              Can’t have been an isolated incident to stop a roll like that…

              I could see UK audiences embracing this music bigtime, though… Not as big here, I don’t think, but I do remember hearing about them.

              Like

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