Kasabian is a band known for their electronic-tinged rock – a kind that’s beat-heavy and full. Some would even call it danceable. They’re best represented by their hook-driven singles like “Club Foot,” “Fire” and “Underdog”. For their fifth album, 48:13 is a well-produced album – each track seems polished and listened with a careful ear.
They try some new things on this record: more electronic-dance influences, weird psychedelic minute-long transition songs and even a spoken word section on “Glass.” Even with these new features, it comes off as unsurprising. Kasabian tries too hard to impress the masses . The album itself is like that kid who tries too hard in class and needs to settle down.
Ironically enough, Kasabian opens their record with a blissed-out minute intro called “Shiva.” They have us in a trance – with mist, incense, and all. It’s kind of relaxing. But this dream is interrupted by the second track, “Bumblebee.” It’s hard to describe how annoyingly this track bursts into your headphones. In fact, the name “Bumblebee” is an apt term to describe the song – it’s just as annoying as the flying insect buzzing in your ear.
A large majority of the album moves at the same, urban grungy drum beat you hear in car commercials. But there are some exceptions, like on the track “Treat,” whose latter half switches over to an electronic, disco beat. And on “Eez-eh” (what?), perhaps their strangest track on this album, jumps and fist-pumps along awkwardly to more electronic rhythms.
Although rare, there are some parts of the record that shine. The cello intro to “Stevie” provides good groundwork for the song and fits in well. Their final track, “Sps” finally puts on the brakes. It’s pleasant on the ears – a turn from their more rambunctious tracks. Kasabian asks us, “Didn’t we all have such a good time? Didn’t we all have the greatest night?” Maybe it’s doubt, or maybe they really did have a fun, booze-fueled night out after a show. Regardless, 48:13 moves too fast, even for Kasabian. Perhaps they need to pump the brakes more often.