Album Review: Kasabian – 48:133 min read
With the Kasabian boys preparing to headline the seminal English music festival that is Glastonbury this year, and also releasing new album 48:13, saying they’ve had their hands full is an understatement. But it’s good to be busy; especially doing something that you love, and if that something is being in a rock band with your mates, what more can you want? Guitarist and Kasabian songwriter Sergio Pizzaro stated recently he can “die a happy man” after he’s headlined at Glasto , and although this can be seen as a career pinnacle, have the band managed to pull out another hit laden album to accompany their summer of live music?
Kasabian have never been ones to follow the in-crowd. Their indifference to the popular sounds of the day has shown throughout their career, and it’s no different on the new record. There is more than a nod back to 90s dance here that Kasabian manage to work into their trademark sounds. Stevie is a track that the chemical brothers would be proud to call their own, while Clouds is in the same vein with its experimental audio and big beats. Shiva starts off sounding like electronic crickets on a hot summers night before stinging you right between the eyes with Bumblebeee – a hard-hitting, rollicking journey that will leave you feeling that Kasabian are geared up to the teeth with rock ‘n’ roll swagger.
Unlike other albums however, 48:13 feels a bit disjointed and doesn’t keep up the pace all the way through. The cleverness and subtlety of previous record West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum is missing, there’s not enough big hitters like on Empire, and the dance isn’t as prominent as Kasabians debut album. What I’m trying to say is that 48:13 fails to be what previous albums were – top of their game and ahead of the competition. Doomsday doesn’t really take off, and is repetitive in a non-addictive way, whereas Treat, whilst being competent and catchy in places, feels diluted by its 7 minute running time.
Kasabian have so much to live up to and for a lesser band this would be a good effort. There are still greats songs in there, but not enough. Glass makes great use of Suli Breaks spoken word, being an insightful running commentary on modern life, but if anything this only heightens how Kasabians lyrics on this record are lacklustre in comparison. On the other hand, recent single Eez-eh is a big grower with its pop-rock, meant for the masses feel, and SPS rounds off the album nicely, again throwing you back to the late 90s, but this time sounding more like Oasis at their best.
48:14 is not Kasabians worst effort, but it’s also far off their best. There are some definite high points in there, but just like Sergio saying they’ve almost reached their pinnacle, it feels because of this they’ve almost settled with this album and not made as much effort as usual. Don’t wind down on us Kasabian – who else is going to go against the grain and keep the rock ‘n’ roll dream alive?