Review: Kasabian – 48:13

June 27, 2014 4:11 pm

The top dogs of electro-flirting, festival-filling indie-rock are back.

Kasabian have always boasted an innate ability to be both brilliantly arrogant and arrogantly brilliant. This is due to, in no small part, the band’s bark being twice as vicious as their bark. But with 48:13, the bark has been reduced to a whimper and they don’t hold their bites for as long.

kasabian 48-13 coverThese bites come early on in the album, with first two proper tracks ‘Bumblebee’ and ‘Stevie’. These songs are confident, strutting into your ears and kicking your senses until you have no choice but to enjoy them. But even these songs have moments where the band revel in their own swagger too much.

Lyrically they’re at their most laughable, and the subdued deliveries don’t help. This isn’t exclusive to the band themselves – Suli Breaks’ rap on Glass is just as skippable. While Doomsday is a celebratory electro-ska stomper a la Reverend & The Makers, this good feeling doesn’t last long. The rest of the album limps and stumbles along, bouncing from one confusingly pointless interlude to the next until it reaches S.P.S. This is the album’s final howl, fading with a dying whimper. An acceptable song, seemingly good next to the previous tracks.

At the core of this album Kasabian aren’t being as thoroughly consistent as they have been since West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum. While many will take the sides of either “Kasabian are experimenting and being creative” or “this is rubbish, Kasabian shouldn’t experiment”, it’s actually much simpler than that.

This is, through and through, a Kasabian album. It’s about as musically consistent as their debut was (read: not very). The only difference is, this isn’t as good. Take Eez-eh for example, it’s basically this album’s Processed Beats. It’s a song that might have been okay from some mediocre dance-rock band, but not from Kasabian. They brought us Fire. They brought us Club Foot. Cutt Off; The Doberman; Fast Fuse; Days Are Forgotten. They brought us a lot… and now they bring us this?

There’s something in it. But whatever it is, it’s not their best.

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