It’s been a weird couple of years for the biggest names in music. Arcade Fire went LCD Soundsystem, QOTSA went depressing, Beyonce went horny, Coldplay went generically sad, The Black Keys went dull and well, Jack White still hasn’t done anything worthy of receiving White Stripes’ level of fame. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that 48:13, the fifth studio album from Glastonbury headliners Kasabian, also takes a turn in a new direction, but what does come as a surprise is how good it sounds.
Lead single Eez-Eh didn’t exactly set the world to rights lyrically, as it seemed Kasabian were trying to revert back to the nostalgic days of being a hormone-heavy pubescent teen flipping his barely solid semi to the world. However the cartoon-y rhythm and heavy focus on groove definitely suggested that there was going to be something different about this new record. Something that possibly suggests guitarist Sergio Pizzorno had some heavy amounts of creative input.
43:18 features three interludes titled (Shiva), (Mortis) and (Levitation) which do nothing but provide a little break between the heavy or drawn out groove of Kasabian’s newly tweaked sound. It also gave me a personal boner as (Shiva) reminds me of The League. If you haven’t watched The League, you should go watch The League.
The true opening track comes in the form of new single Bumblebee, a track that explodes immediately with some traditional Kasbian vocal hooks and a whole lot more too, creating a heavy intro that is full of texture and surprise. Kasabian does a great job of keeping Bumblebee buzzing with energy and it also sets up the album nicely, making the listener aware of what’s to expected from it.
(Mortis) sets up another unexpected gem from the album as Doomsday features a drum beat that is infectious and terribly contagious. The simple “what you see is what you get from me” hook sinks into the listener’s head like a needle to skin and yeah, it’s at this point you begin to realise that Kasbian are back in a big way. Once the realisation kicks in the seven minute epic Treat comes along and it is certainly true. It does little to kick things into another gear but it does succeed at being a seven minute long song that sustains a rhythm that fortunately remains catchy as hell. The band do a great job of letting go of vocal duties to focus on delivering some solid instrumentation and while it’s miminal changes, it does continue to remain fresh and enjoyable. Much like Arcade Fire effort for their last lead single Reflektor.
Kasabian really let loose for 48:13 and as a result they’ve achieved their most cohesive and fun album yet. Obviously there’s nothing here that could match the anthems of Club Foot, Underdog and Firebut for the first time it’s easy to listen through a Kasabian album, and enjoy every single minute of it. All 48 minutes and 13 seconds of it. For more music reviews, free downloads and also closing track S.P.S is rather lovely too check out Exploding Head Syndrome on Facebook and Twitter.