With 48:13, Kasabian are picking up where they left off with Velociraptor, conceived in a world where Kasabian are the underdog no more. They evidently see themselves as festival headliners, as this record was built for the Pyramid Stage and drunken, mud-caked revellers. Question is, have they stage-dived too early, and landed flat on their faces? ‘Bumblebee’ is a bit like being repeatedly being punched in the jaw by Carl Froch, egged on by Sergio’s bellowed chorus, only then to be reassured by cushiony synths and sent back into the inevitable mosh pit. ‘Stevie’ is about as anthemic as it can get, “and all the kids they say, live to fight another day”, who gives a fuck if they’re clichéd lyrics, Meighan’s vocals make everything sound like a Midlands parable.
‘Glass’ welcomes us in with a bass wobble reminiscent of Benga, only to dissolve into a trippy soundscape of monotone lyrics and a floating acoustic chorus. Then out of nowhere comes a wannabe philosophical spoken word piece that’s nowhere near sincere enough to get the anti-establishment message across. ‘Clouds’, building into an epic crescendo of elation, is a breath of fresh air, before diving nose first into the sterling- Manchester-rave that is ‘Eez-Eh’. It’s a song that you can both laugh at and dance furiously to, ideally in a 90s bucket hat, but I really hope it was recorded with a sense of sarcasm. These are songs, especially ‘Treat’, which your jaw can gurn in time to.
‘Bow’ in contrast, would be a number one if a re-united Oasis had made it. Combining the electronica of 48:13 with the stadium rock of West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, in a moment of inspired and rare genuine emotiveness from Kasabian, “what we had was broken from the start”, it has to be realised as a single,. The Kasabian standard now seems to be to end with an acoustic one, and that trend continues with ‘S.P.S’ – which incidentally stands for scissors paper stone – it serves to close the album, and not a great deal else sadly.
48:13 is the electronica album Oasis wish they’d made. It’s grimy and certainly gets your head banging, with four or five potential crowd favourites. Only the festival season this year will prove whether it can provide the same level of devotion as West Ryder or Empire.