Kaiser Chiefs, Duck (Polydor) ***

IN terms of longevity, the mid-00s' "indie boom" – defined by The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Razorlight etc – makes Britpop look like a pan-generational thing.

While many of its key players have endured, they’ve increasingly found themselves on the fringes, rather than the forefront, and the consequence has been that they’ve rarely felt the need to progress. And Leeds lads Kaiser Chiefs are no exception to this rule.

A formula they were already perfectly comfortable with – cheeky, shouty, danceable, Madness/Kinks/Housemartins-influenced indie-pop with big choruses and working-class sensibilities – has been even less likely to change since key songwriter Nick Hodgson departed in 2012.

Bar the occasional dabble in MGMT-lite electro-pop, Duck (presumably dedicated to England's Test cricket team) is essentially more of the same, and while it has a semblance of a theme – the way the internet has taken hold of society – it’s an album made because Kaiser Chiefs are a still-active band and making albums is what still-active bands occasionally do.

Which is not to say this is a bad effort at all. If you want a quintessential Chiefs' chant, opening tracks People Know How To Love One Another and Golden Oldies will give you just that. If you want something more soulful, flick through to Target Market or the slice of mid-80s' American AOR that is Lucky Shirt.

If you want the kind of breathless, hook-laden crowd-pleaser that this band remain pretty decent at, try Wait. But even with Duck containing a genuine corker on the thumping, digitized Record Collection, it doesn’t have an earworm like Ruby, a jump-around anthem like I Predict A Riot, or a truly arresting piece of songwriting like Meanwhile Up In Heaven or Modern Way.

It’s enjoyably average, its best moments could shake you out of a bad mood, and if part of its mission was to ensure Kaiser Chiefs’ fanbase remains more or less the same size as it was before its release, job done.

Mark Stead

Kaiser Chiefs play Hull Bonus Arena on January 20 and 21 (sold out).