When Kaiser Chiefs’ first 7″, “Oh My God,” reached number 66 on the U.K. charts — a startling achievement for an unsigned band — doors opened for the group to share the stage with larger acts, consequently grabbing the attention of A&R scouts who wanted to sign them. “I Predict a Riot,” on the other hand, reeled in U.S. modern rock radio programmers caught in a blooming new wave revival. Without an American label deal, Kaiser Chiefs (named after the South African football team) crash-landed on some of the biggest U.S. alternative stations with the “I Predict a Riot” import single in late 2004. That same year, they recorded their debut album, Employment, for the U.K. label B-Unique. The album was released domestically in the U.S. in spring 2005.
For their next project, the band opted for an unconventional release method. U.K. fans who pre-ordered the album were able to choose ten of 23 songs for the track listing of their own personalized version of the album, as well as personalized artwork. For everyone else, the final version of The Future Is Medieval was released for mass consumption in the U.K. in 2011. In the United States, four of the tracks — “Out of Focus,” “Long Way from Celebrating,” “Dead or in Serious Trouble,” and “Coming Up for Air” — were swapped out for “On the Run,” “Cousin in the Bronx,” “Problem Solved,” and “Can’t Mind My Own Business” for the renamed 2012 version, Start the Revolution Without Me.
The year 2014 saw the release of Education, Education, Education & War, the band’s fifth studio album and first to feature new drummer Mistry. The Kaisers returned in the summer of 2016 with a brand-new sound on the electronic dance-pop track “Parachute,” the first single from their sixth album, Stay Together. Produced by Brian Higgins (Girls Aloud) and mixed by Serban Ghenea (Rihanna, Taylor Swift), Stay Together also included appearances by MNEK and One Direction songwriter Wayne Hector. Their seventh set, Duck, arrived in 2019. Produced with Ben H. Allen (Walk the Moon, Cut Copy), the album saw the group dial back some of the pop overload from Stay Together, finding a balanced middle ground on tracks such as “Wait” and “Record Collection.