With hot shot transatlantic producer Mark Ronson tapped for production on the Leeds lads' third album, it would be fair to expect plenty of brass and brash courtesy of the soul/R&B revivalist. But that's not the case on Off With Their Heads.
Both parties seem determined to defy the Chiefs' usual stadium Britpop formulas.
Admirable of them not to take the smoothly paved road to radio readiness and try something different, incorporating British 60s (Can't Say What I Mean), Happy Mondays Madchester (Good Days Bad Days) and 70s singer/songwriter terrain on Remember You're A Girl, the album's closing and most affecting track, among other gambits. But there's still something plodding and lethargic about the affair. Ronson lowers Ricky Wilson's maddeningly limited vocals and amps the bass, but the disc still fails to come alive.
The Chiefs play the Mod Club November 18.