There has been a lot of talk about London-based Bastille over the last couple of months. The indie-pop electronic quartet have developed quite a following since their successful UK headline tour at the end of last year, and then absorbed huge attention on their recent dates with Two Door Cinema Club. The band – beginning as a solo project from lead singer Dan Smith – has been building up to this point, their debut release.The stage is set, the lights are on Bastille: ‘Bad Blood‘ is here.

Opening the LP is one of the record’s lead singles, ‘Pompeii’, which sets off proceedings in triumphant fashion; literally the first piece of sound on ‘Bad Blood‘ is ‘Pompeii’s opening group-vocals that sound like victory chants at the end of battle, whilst working the song’s main instrument to guide it through the choruses and synth-lined bridges. ‘Things We Lost In The Fire’ displays some string sections in the beginning leading to huge floor-tom drum beats, while the track’s best feature is its lovely bass groove.

It is clear from the first few songs that Bastille really want to display their style and clearly define their sound: there are some form of electronics on every track, there are orchestral string elements regulary and – most notably – there are group vocals everywhere. This isn’t a negative however, as the structure of most of the songs are complimented by this regular underlying of chants and choruses of overlayered vocals. However, this soon becomes incredibly formulaic, even more so when you take into account that over half the tracks here rely on an introduction beginning with a piano line, followed by vocals, followed by drum beat X and electronic bridge Y. It is hard to find more than a few moments of diverse originality here.

That said, it is important to reitarate that this isn’t always a problem, with those rare moments of refreshing music being really spectacular. Fourth track ‘Overjoyed’ is a piano-led slow burner that showcases singer Dan Smith’s full vocal range, with him impressively peaking at his highest falsetto. The mid-album track ‘Weight Of Living Pt. II’ is excellent, and is sure to be one of the record’s soon-to-be fan favourites, with a huge chorus that will go down spectacualry live. Furthermore, no matter how calcuated these tracks may be, this is a fucking catchy record. There isn’t a moment on ‘Bad Blood‘ where you are not interested in the music, and it moves along at swift pace to ensure you want to keep hitting that replay.

As a debut, it’s superb. There is plenty of stuff to enjoy here for fans of White Lies and Mumford & Sons, but it if Bastille are to remain in what is right now a highly concentrated public eye, they need follow this record with something truly sublime.


About The Author

Dougal Mackenzie

A student based in the North, crappy guitar player and an addict of vinyl. Thanks for any kind words. @MackyKD