Bearing an album cover reminiscent of Hard-Fi’s ‘No Cover Art,’ Kasabian return with their fifth studio album, ’48:13.’ Remarkably, the release marks the fourth consecutive UK number-one-album for the Leicester band, who to continue to grow in sound, and having recently headlined Glastonbury, in scale too.
The bouncy rhythms of Eez-eh sets the precedent for what is to follow. It’s characteristics are disorientating, as if sat in the local pub and every slot machine collectively pays the jackpot. Whacky synths, triplet beats and disco drums make for a wildly cartoonish intro song, yet still, the lyrics play out in similar lad-like fashion so commonly associated with the band. Unfortunately however, the lyrics are a mix of lazy rhymes and nonsensical phrases; “everyone’s a bugle/being watched by Google.”
Being one of Britain’s better music exports in recent years, and having toyed with a vast range of sonic possibilities on ‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum’ and ‘Velociraptor,’ Kasabian are at a time in their career where the music can effectively plateau.
The album, produced by guitarist Sergio Pizzorno, bears hip-hop breaks and some interesting electronica; it’s overall definition is different to the Kasabian norm, but it comprehensively fails to resemble anything like Pizzorno’s thoughts preceding its release: “I think it’s the best record we’ve made,“ he proclaimed in an interview with an English paper. The cocky musical swagger that lifted them into the big time might just be faltering.
The album highlight can be found in the form of Treat. Strangely similar to Dublin’s very own Le Galaxie, it has a distinguishable vintage synth vibe, meshed quite neatly with ethereal tones. Explodes has the snarl-laden vocal approach we so often associate with Kasabian, and for this one at least, it all works.
Album closer Clouds bears all the signs of a musical vice, yet through distorted vocals and Beatles-esque guitar riffs it borders with too many cliches, singing “we rise above the clouds.” Tom Meighan said in advance of the album’s release that he was “worried for every other band out there.” The trouble with such lofty claims is that they can often fall short.