Kasabian – 48:13 (2014)

If there’s one thing that I learnt from my initial listen of 48:13, it’s that when people define Kasabian as “revolutionary”, it’s for a reason. Listen to the entirety of their five-deep discography, and it is evident that the group don’t do things in halves… and they definitely aren’t fans of repetition.

Each offering from the UK four-piece, beginning with their 2004 self-titled debut release, has provided fans and critics alike with something fresh, and at times unusual. 48:13 is no different.

So let’s look back to April of this year when the first single of their then-unreleased LP was dropped. I still vividly remember listening to Eez-eh for the first time. Then that one time turned to 20; 20 turned to 50…50 turned into countless. I was hooked. The poppy, acid-lined beat that just wanted to get you dancing. And I still remember my first thought of the single, “This sounds like Kasabian has made sweet, sweet love to The Mighty Boosh.” Was I complaining? Hell fucking no. And knowing of the close relationship between Serge Pizzorno and Noel Fielding (and my deep, deep desire to be apart of that relationship) almost justified the thought.

48:13 opens with the mystical-yet-distorted sounds of Shiva, before erupting into Bumblebee - a track that I can definitely foresee the band opening their live performances with when they tour the country in a couple of months time. From the beginning, you can hear it – a plethora of synth-y, grunge-y, psychedelic and – at times – even hip hop-esque sounds. From the beginning, you realise that Kasabian are already onto something special, something new. Only in the way that they know how.

Classical instrumentals are fused together with rhythm ‘n’ blues beats, and each track provides something exciting for the listener to get their head around. I remember reading somewhere a reviewer of the album claiming that this is “Kasabian’s laziest album” – or something to that effect. But what people fail to realise is that, amongst the band’s cockiness, are reasons for that cockiness – the band is talented, and it’s obvious that they know what they’re doing – whether in the studio or on the live stage.

The seventh track on the album, Glass, throws a spanner in the works – where towards the latter end of the track, spoken-word artist/expressionist Suli Breaks opens his spiel with “A wise man told me we are born with wings but never taught to fly/ Doesn’t that make you wonder why?” and closes the thought-provoking track. Keep listening, and you’ll eventually reach – how I can only describe it as – the “feel good jam” of the album, Clouds. Tom Meighan repeatedly proclaims in the track that “we will rise above the clouds.” And yeah, for the few minutes of the poppy track, you kinda do feel infinite. That is until the next song begins…

pops up out of nowhere and brings you straight back down to Earth to have a boogie. “I ain’t easy / And I make you mad / Least I ain’t sleazy / I’m just trying to put the world to right”… WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN. I DON’T CARE, IT’S SO GOOD. If you haven’t already, I urge you to Google the lyrics to the track and try make sense of them. “Everyone’s on bugle / Now we’re being watched by Google”…? I love acid too, Serge. Listening to the track the amount of times that I have, I can’t help but be reminded of the songwriting that Cream used whilst writing White Room. Though seeming like a bundle of random lyrics thrown together, the song just works. And anyone that listens to it and tells me that they don’t find it the least bit funky, you’re a liar and you know.

As always, the lads from Kasabian have put together an album to talk about; one that encapsulates many different, often varying genres. Why they’ve received quite a bit of review backlash from the album is beyond me. Some people overshadow performers’ talent with their cockiness. To Kasabian, I salute you.

Kasabian Australia Tour Dates

Tuesday August 5 – Perth, Metro City – 18+
Thursday August 7 – Adelaide, Thebarton Theatre – Licensed All Ages
Saturday August 9 – Melbourne, Festival Hall – Licensed & Unlicensed Areas
Sunday August 10 – Sydney, Hordern Pavillion – Licensed All Ages
Tuesday August 12 – Brisband, Eatons Hill Hotel – Licensed All Ages

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