Published on March 4th, 2013 | by Sean Ward0
Bastille – Bad Blood
Summary: Truly innovative, genre bending stuff from the one of the most exciting bands to break out from the under the radar in a very long time.
After listening to Bastille’s incredibly intelligent mix tapes last year, I instantly fell in love with this band. Dan’s unusual vocals layer over cleverly crafted tracks that sampled some of the most definitive and famous movie quotes and sounds made for a really interesting listen; I have been eagerly awaiting their debut album ever since. ‘Bad Blood’ does not disappoint, the London based band have a fantastically theatrical baroque pop sound that remains consistent throughout this solid LP.
The opening track ‘Pompeii’ is an awesome battle cry, written bizarrely about two frozen statues conversing about the wreckage of a lost town, this trippy indie pop gem managed to debut at No.2 in the charts last night, Bastille really are the ones to watch in 2013. Second track ‘Things We Lost in the Fire’ follows suit, an obscure indie dance track with an incredible hook and brilliant use of dramatic violin compliment Dan’s vocal perfectly. Title track ‘Bad Blood’ begins with a warped 70′s style electro intro before the band launch into the now familiar chorus if you had any of their earlier mix tapes. ‘Overjoyed’ takes on an Ellie Goulding style ballad, the electro is still present but it bows down to the sublime piano bridge; whilst ‘These Streets’ is breezy, using xylophone to give the track a real care free summer vibe, helpful when the band are playing almost every festival this summer, seriously.
‘Weight of Living pt.II’ harks to their early days, a real experimental electro number with clear and precise layering throughout. This acts almost like an intermission for the albums three finest moments, beginning with the impossibly catchy ‘Icarus’, with a dark and somber subject matter the track remains upbeat, using the Greek myth of Icarus as a metaphor for self destruction.
One of the tenderest moments ‘Oblivion’ become so sincere, after hearing this track on an earlier EP where it was presented as a battle march, it was a true moment to hear it stripped back and accompanied by violin and piano. Surprise chart hit ‘Flaws’ sounds perfectly in place amongst this record; another brilliant point is this doesn’t become a highlight simply because it hit the Top 40, it may be the most recognisable but you’re not anticipating it, you’re simply enjoying a well crafted album which ‘Flaws’ adds to.
‘Daniel in the Den’ is an epic, baroque styled track moving into Patrick Wolf territory with a booming chorus and steady tribal like drums. ‘Laura Palmer’ is triumphant, there is no other word for it. A momentous and glorious piece of indie pop, with an exploding chorus and a pace so quick yet every word of this poignant track resinates with you. The album ends on a far more subtle note, the somber closer ‘Get Home’ allows Dan to let all of his angst out, supported by synth and ominous breathy backing vocals.
Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of indie bands out there that recieve large amounts of hype and usually fail to deliver anything apart from predictability and mundanity (see Two Door Cinema Club, Palma Violets etc.) What Bastille have done is in inject their personality into this debut, it feels like they are creating the music they wanted. I don’t need to remind you of the unexpected success of ‘Lungs’ which the now infamous Ms. Welch has admitted was ‘a record I wanted to make, I’m just glad people liked it too’. Bastille’s obvious enjoyment of grandeur and anthem is evident on this LP, it’s also seen them announce many headline festival slots this summer, as well as a sold out tour. In my opinion they are one of the most exciting bands to break out in a very, very long time.