Can the Glastonbury headliners live up to the hype on their fifth album?
Andrew Trendell
12:46 2nd May 2014

Stepping up to headline Glastonbury this summer, Kasabian have a lot to prove in 2014. Already challenged with the task of filling the void left by the likes of Oasis and The Stone Roses, 48:13 needs to be the album that transforms them into a Zeitgeist-seizing tour de force of world-conquering proportions.

But what does it sound like? Well, we went down to the fittingly iconic Abbey Road studios in London to give it a listen. 

"48:13 is the sum of all its parts," said guitarist Serge Pizzorno introducing the album. "We kept everything quite direct musically."

So in that spirit, let's crack on and whip through a quick first-listen to Kasabian's new album. Here's our early track-by-track guide to 48:13

(shiva)
A space age instrumental that sounds as if David Bowie attempted to record the Magic Roundabout theme tune during his Berlin Days. It makes for a fittingly cinematic introduction to the LP that follows.

'Bumblebee'
BOOM. Then there's this - an explosion of throbbing beats and the repetitive hook of Tom chanting 'yeah', leading into a Shaun Ryder-esque vocodered verse and the mantra: "Life is so simple when you are with me, because when you are with me, I'm in ecstasy".

The track builds up to what can only be described as a psychedelic orgasm of sound and absolutely massive outro. This absolute banger was made for the fields of Glastonbury, and is definitely worthy single material. 

'Stevie'
A James Bond-esque, menacing orchestral intro is soon pierced by syncopated beats and some filthy, fuzzy bass. The words "comedown, take your medication" marks this as a pretty accurate hangover soundtrack, before the huge call to arms of "live to fight another day, live to fight again."

The jamming outro suggests that the band may have been listening to lot of Temples lately, but it makes for another future live favourite. 

(mortis)
It is currently unknown whether or not this track is a tribute to the Robot Wars favourite, but it's certainly a real horror show Ennio Morricone-inspired spaghetti Western instrumental.

'Doomsday'
A fitting title for another explosion leading into a madman carnival of sounds where The Stone Roses meet The Prodigy. It's another epic turn, before Tom Meighan gets all existential on us: "The dead will never be alive, but the dead will always be. What you see is what you can't believe."

'Treat'
A terrifying rush of baggy dark electro that is as scary as hell. It's minimal in its elements but massive in its delivery, fulfilling what Serge described as the album really being 'the sum of its parts'. It's also worth pointing out that at this point, we spy Tom and Serge at the upstairs bar going nuts to this track. Make of that what you will. 

'Glass'
A dose of pulsing dub leads you in before Serge pines in with a mournful tone "Save me, come on and save me from this mournful world," before the melancholic outro "we are going nowhere fast, we are made of glass". 

The line "a wise man once told me that we are born with wings but never taught to fly" marks one of the more introspective and personal moments on the record, before a spoken word piece by a streetwise youth closes the track, in an ode to following your dreams and all that.

'Explodes'
"You would rather die on your feet than live on your knees," spit the band in a track that unfortunately doesn't quite live up to its title, in one of the least memorable and remarkable tracks on the album. Saying that, it is a minor low-point on an album of otherwise consistent peaks.

(levitation)
Speaking to Serge afterwards, he described the album to us as 'Ennio Morricone meets hip-hop', and that seems pretty evident on this brief instrumental.

'Clouds'
A futuristic and cinematic intro, in a similar vein to something from the TRON soundtrack, ushers this one in before it blooms into a bright and breezy blossom of blissed-out space rock. Imagine 'Tomorrow Never Knows' by The Beatles reimagined by Soulwax and you won't be far off what the band were aiming for with this one. 

'Eez-eh'
Unless you've been living in a cave, you know this obvious single choice pretty well by now. Check it out below

'Bow'
A mellow moment towards the end of the album, Serge takes the lead on this acoustic-meets-electro sorrowful number, as he aches: "What is this? If it ain't love, then its over."

'S.P.S'
With echoes of early classic 'L.S.F', 'S.P.S' has a ticking synth intro that soon evolves into a pretty marvellous sixties cut of Beach Boys' harmonies and a pretty-Oasis-esque blend of acoustic anthemics and soaring orchestral work. It's an impressive close to Kasabian's most ambitious but direct work to date. 

48:13 will be released on 9 June. As well as headlining Glastonbury, Kasabian's full Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows. Tickets to the new Scottish shows go on sale at 9am on Friday 2 May. For more information visit Gigwise gig tickets.

Wed May 14 2014 - CORK Cork Opera House
Fri May 16 2014 - LIMERICK Big Top
Sat May 17 2014 - GALWAY Seapoint Leisure Centre
Sun May 18 2014 - DERRY Nerve Centre

Tue May 20 2014 - KILMARNOCK Grand Hall
Thu May 22 2014 - DUNFERMLINE Alhambra Theatre
Fri May 23 2014 - DUNDEE Caird Hall
Sunday May 25 2014 - GLASGOW, Radio One Big Weekend
Sat June 21 2014 - LEICESTER Victoria Park

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