The Leicester band’s last effort Velociraptor! showed that they still hadn’t managed to escape the shadow of West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, so 48:13 (both the name and running time of the album) is out to settle scores, and shake off the ‘lad-rock album’. the opening ‘(Shiva)’ is one in a series of synth instrumentals, before descending straight into the headbang-worthy ‘Bumblebee’ and its chorus “When we’re together I’m in ecstasy”. ‘Stevie’, descends from its promising double bass intro to yet another lad anthem, while ‘Doomsday’ aims for ska and settles for circus music, despite some fun guitar riffs.
The old Kasabian comes out in ‘Treat’, which is perhaps a welcome regression, before a cameo from Suli Breaks on ‘Glass’ tries to branch out from the formulaic into new territory. Shame about the lyrics. The most pleasant surprise on the album is ‘Eez-eh’. With slapdash lyrics, it seemed to be a portent for worse to come when it was released as the lead single. Strangely enough, it seems to work better within the album.
While it isn’t earth-shaking, Kasabian’s 5th studio album deserves credit for being broad and entertaining. It’s cringeworthy, but worth a chance.