Recently, it seems that American music has been experiencing somewhat of a repeat of the “british invasion”that took place in the mid-1960s. Then, it was bands like The Beatles, The Who, and The Rolling Stones that topped the charts. Today, there are many more bands and solo artists bringing their music across the Atlantic Ocean, looking for the same kind of miraculous success. One pop rock band in particular is on track to make it big in the States: Bastille.
The band’s debut album, “Bad Blood,” comes with an unnecessarily creepy name for what is rather a collection of honest songs about the different complicated aspects of the teenage experience. Overall, the album has a faster pace and a dangerous edge as it tells a somewhat sequential story about love, growing up, and angst.
The album opens up with “Pompeii” an upbeat, catchy song with background vocals that sound almost like a gospel-choir, without the religious connotation. The lyrics allude to the destruction at historical Pompeii and uses this to explain how familiar destruction feels even despite the visible change. While this song maintains a happy sound, the next song, “Things We Lost in the Fire,” continues with the idea of destruction. It opens slowly and has a contemplative tone throughout the verses. But once the chorus hits, it feels like a song that can be clapped along to.
The next chapter in the story starts off with the title track “Bad Blood,” which is a bit more angsty. The opening of the song sounds almost foreboding. This song exemplifies the dangerous times, starting off with the line: “We were young and drinking in the park.” The message is one of warning, until finally the next song, “Overjoyed” brings a feeling of recovery from the bad times. This song is beautifully simple in the beginning, with only the voice and piano. Later, the synthesizer adds another layer to the song, but, the song as a whole offers a calming feel after the tension of the previous song. “These Streets” closes out this chapter with a strong message of moving on. The tone of the song is confident, and the background vocals in the chorus seem to symbolize the strength of the message.
These are only a few of the stories told on this elaborately crafted album. Other notable tracks include “Oblivion and “Flaws.” These songs are two of the best, despite their drastically different styles. “Oblivion” is slow and pleading, but the beginning is beautiful and simple. “Flaws” is more fun and upbeat; it’s a catchy song that would be successful especially as a single.
Overall, I would recommend this album to people who are fans of groups such as Two Door Cinema Club, The XX, or Alt-J. Bastille is categorized as a rock band, but the songs overall also have an slight electronic feel.