Kaiser Chiefs are an English indie rock band from Leeds who formed in 1997. They were named after the South African football club Kaizer Chiefs. The group's debut album, Employment, was released in 2005. It was primarily inspired by New Wave and punk rock music of the late 1970s and 1980s, and enjoyed international success with over three million copies sold. In 2005, the album was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize. Kaiser Chiefs' second album, Yours Truly, Angry Mob (2007), yielded "Ruby", a number one single in the United Kingdom. They released their third album, Off with Their Heads, in October 2008. After a three-year hiatus, they released The Future Is Medieval in June 2011. Formation and early years (1996–2003) When they were around eleven years old, Nick Hodgson, Nick Baines and Simon Rix met in the same class at St. Mary's School, Menston, Bradford. After leaving school, Rix and Baines left for university in 1996 whereas Hodgson remained in the Leeds area, meeting both Andrew White and Ricky Wilson. Hodgson, White and Wilson formed the band Runston Parva, its name a deliberate misspelling of a small East Yorkshire hamlet called Ruston Parva. After Runston Parva failed to secure a record deal, the group would re-form as Parva upon the return of Rix and Baines from university. Parva's career would go beyond the boundaries of Leeds, and the band was able to obtain both a record and publishing deal. However, after Beggars Banquet closed the Mantra label, Parva were dropped and left desolate and without any direction after the release of an album (22) and three singles ("Heavy", "Good Bad Right Wrong" and "Hessles"). According to manager James Sandom in an interview with HitQuarters, as a dropped band they had become damaged goods, "No one would touch them because they had a history. A lot of people used their history against them." The band decided that they would aim for a longer term record deal and started afresh with new songs and a new name: Kaiser Chiefs. The new name was taken from South African football club Kaizer Chiefs, where former Leeds United captain Lucas Radebe had once played. Manager James Sandom was tipped off about the band by Drowned in Sound founder Sean Adams for the Drowned in Sound label and persuaded him to go and see them live. Sandom said: "I went to see a couple of shows and you were just bombarded by a series of potential hit singles." Soon after Sandom became their manager, Kaiser Chiefs signed to B-Unique Records. Atlantic Records had also made an offer for the band. Lap of Honour EP (2005) In 2005, the Kaiser Chiefs released an EP called "Lap of Honour" which was only released in Japan, which was available for import to the UK. I know, weird. The EP mostly consists of b-sides featured on singles from the first album "Employment". The songs "Sink That Ship" and "Hard Time Send Me" are worth mentioning. Employment (2005) The first studio album made by the Kaiser Chiefs was released in 2005 and was named Employment. The album was known for the Britpop and New Wave movements as well as 70s'-era punk rock. The album ended up the 4th best-selling album in the UK that year. With the album came quite a few positive responses. They were named worthy successors of Blur. The most familiar songs from this album are probably "Everyday I Love You Less and Less", "Oh My God" and "Modern Way". Later on, a dvd was released with the name Enjoyment which documented concerts of the Kaiser Chiefs. Yours Truly Angry Mob (2007) The second album from the Kaiser Chiefs was released in February 2007 and the music that filled the album was more aimed towards Led Zeppelin. The album was not as successful as the first album and some critics called it "predictable". Still it reached the nr. 1 spot on the UK Album charts. The lyrics from this album are a bit darker than the earlier work. What bothered me the most was the song "Ruby" which was plain and had nothing worth listening to. The so desired replay-value (when a song is so good, you want to listen to it over and over again) was missing from this song. Despite that, there were some songs that had something more to add. "The Angry Mob", "Retirement" and "Highroyds" are songs worth mentioning. Off With Their Heads (2008) Again 18 months later, the 3rd album was released. I remember waiting for this for weeks, checking in with my local Musica store in South Africa to see if they had it already. Finally I got it and started listening to it. I fell in love with the songs. It was more towards the early work, which put a smile on my face. The very up-beat "Spanish Metal" is a firing start of the album and it's a shame the song is so damn short. On the songs "Never Miss A Beat" and "Always Happens Like That" the now famous Lily Allen is contributing in the backing vocals. The 3rd album is much more laidback than the second album and it's very enjoyable to listen to when you want to relax. Best songs are "Tomato in the Rain", "Addicted to Drugs" and "Half the Truth". The Future Is Medieval (2011) Following a long hiatus (of nearly 3 years) they announced a 4th album to be released in June 2011. The album was released 2 weeks ago and I have it but cannot comment on it just yet. It features 20 songs, which is a lot. Once I have taken time to seriously listen to it, I will update you guys about the new album.