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Bastille Bad Blood Album Review

bastille bad blood review

Having been out almost a week, 'Bad Blood' has definitely been the most critically acclaimed 'debut' album of 2013 that today shot London Indie Pop band Bastille to No. 1 in the UK album charts. Following this chart announcement, Bastille have seen such notoriety that their website has been so inundated with traffic that it is struggling to handle the sheer number of fans trying to connect. In addition, Apple have appeared to quickly soak up this success in the form of smashing some Bastille marketing on their in-app store front.


Whist 'Bad Blood' has, this week, been metaphorically torn apart by NME who issued a 5/10 album rating, this has seemingly underwhelmed the majority of reviews which have given nothing but praise and full marks for the much awaited debut album. However, I think here the best thing to do is comment that Bastille really aren't your average, dirty lyrical, musically fatiguing, type of band... They are fresh, they sound technically polished, they bring something new to Indie Pop. They should be watched.


Coming in two flavours 'Bad blood' and 'Bad Blood (The Extended Cut)' it is important to announce that The Pro Audio Web Blog has the pleasure to review a fresh press standard 'Bad Blood' CD.


Although three of the albums tracks have already been released as 'Singles' ("Flaws", "Overjoyed" and "Bad Blood'), right off the bat you can tell that this album has some serious potential for more forthcoming EP releases. Having said this the first time you put this album on you will find that you are  dropped right in the middle of some Bastille succulence. The track "Pompeii" is a perfect opener and a right head on collision with some extraordinary talent, both in the form of artistry and sheer resolution of sound. This particular track sets an exceedingly high precedent for the album development... and it doesn't disappoint.


"Things We Lost In The Fire" is the second track on the album and it appears musically dainty until the chorus kicks in to add a slight stadium feel to the overall tone - here you can imagine a packed venue attempting to sing to this upbeat track. As we pass a couple of minutes Bastille develops the track from what could be called 'simple' into a multitimbral dreamy bridge that accents rhythmic breaks where you will find yourselves hand-clapping to satisfy the off-beat holes. This is a track which has a rhythmic and musical ploy which plays an individual role in the whole 'Bad Blood' album skill-set - I should explain... As an entity, this album has a habit of drawing your attention to the muscle flexing of Bastille's talent where not a track goes by that strains your attention or sounds too familiar. The album progresses through a number of different emotions, sounds and tempos where the man who is Bastille, Dan Smith, has a habit of making his performance sound effortless despite his modest attitude.


As we approach the meat of the album we are easily familiar with "Bad Blood" and "Overjoyed" which follow one another in succession; they are well placed but their tonality feels a little stressed within the overall album. It is easy to define these tracks as having a different vibe to them especially as they were pre-released as singles. Part of the fun in this section that I will refer to as 'meat' is that you find the most lukewarm catchy pop track "Icarus". It is pleasing but it could probably do with a bit more development because it can feel a bit rhythmically sterile.


"Oblivion", is a thrown back and understated track in structure and tempo. It is one in which Smith has an ability to shows his sheer vocal talent through beautifully simple harmonies and effortless falsetto singing. It kind of acts as a break and for this reason I have to say that I personally find the next track, "Flaws", to be a bit premature for the emotion which was expressed in "Oblivion". It almost feels like it had to be put somewhere and this is a downfall. This is not to suggest that it is a poor track because it isn't, but I do feel that it has somewhere else to be. Funnily enough, in this cut of the album "Laura Palmer" is a track which is second to last and is one which is nicely presented and comparatively technically complex in structure. It has a nice lead into the final track "Get Home". There does seem to be some relation to both of them and the auto-tune is artistically stated and does not appear tot be overused - unlike other Indie bands that we have seen recently (Fun.). As I pick here I do believe that it can lyrically be a bit monotonous and I find myself switching to other tracks meaning that I miss the 'hidden track' or second part. For me the last track is a real clincher and I am still unconvinced as to whether the track structuring is what I was expecting and the album ends a bit to abrupt. Stating this, it may actually sound a bit conflicted when I should pose the argument that the album does have the strongest track distributed across the album with "Pompeii" (Intro - Track One), "Weight Of Living - Part II" (almost central in the album mix) and "Flaws" (being a late middle).


All in all this is a promising album but it may be one which pushes Bastille to flex its muscles a bit more. Finally, this is an album which has seemingly divided the review community into two halves and I have to say that due to the track structure and abrupt nature of the final/hidden track I feel I have to award a strong 4/5.


Edd Harris

Edd Harris - 10th March 2013

US RRP: $9.99 | UK RRP: £4.99

Editors Rating:

Four Star Award