Kasabian - 48:13
Much of the pre-release talk has surrounded a back-to-basics approach for Kasabian's album number five. The minimalist title and artwork, the one word song titles, all to suggest a band stripped to the waist and back in the fray - at least that's the game singer Tom Meighan and guitarist/songwriter Serge Pizzorno have been peddling over the last couple of months. After the contrasts of the previous two albums, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum and Velociraptor!, generally sniffed at by the critics but loved by Joe Public, sticking with what they know best may not be a bad option.
Ahead of their Glastonbury headline slot, what does it actually sound like then? There’s no doubting the Kasabian-ness of it all; ‘Bumblebee’ is very them: the big beats, swirling guitars, slightly anthemic. Lead single ‘Eezeh’ is almost a breathless caricature, equal parts nonsense and genius, but irresistible in its own way. The more experimental ‘Glass’ and ‘Explodes’ have a Muse-ish space rockness that works, and the return of the slightly manic dance edge of their earlier output is welcome on ‘Doomsday’ and the grooving, beat-heavy ‘Treat’. Three interludes allow their slightly pretentious nature to bubble to the surface while the opening strings of ‘Stevie’ and ‘Clouds’ strive for quality but never quite deliver. And they’ve never sounded so much like Oasis as on final track ‘SPS’. Rather than Kasabian unplugged, 48:13 is familiar ground. Light on standout anthems, this is more of a sideways step - but Joe Public is likely to keep lapping it up. All together now: 'Eezeh! Eezeh!'