The début album by ‘indie’ rock band Bastille offers us a range of ‘indie’ rock songs. It interests me how the word ‘indie’ has suddenly become a genre of its own in the past 5 or so years, and now means a specific sound rather than bands who are on independent record labels. Regardless, it’s a way of categorising bands and how the core of their music sounds. In Bastille’s case, their music falls under what I would call ‘indie-rock’. What is interesting though is how Bastille seem to have found some way of presenting themselves that at least makes them stand out just that little bit in the field of indie-rock bands.
It seems that within an over-worked genre, Bastille actually have something to offer. As with most ‘indie-rock’ bands, there’s usually an element of distinct averageness that the genre just encompasses which is normally unavoidable. With ‘Bad Blood’, there is a general element of averageness to the music, and the vocals, but at the same time there is also something that draws the listener in, and it manages to elevate it just that little bit so it’s not completely average. It’s odd, as on the album ‘Bad Blood’, there isn’t anything that is incredibly special about the music, but at the same time there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with the music either.
There’s a fair amount to enjoy on ‘Bad Blood’. A fair few of the songs feel infectious and just grab you. There’s some interesting techniques used on the album, which makes me feel that Bastille as a band are at least trying to do something, and not just go for the lazy thing of writing generic music. The music itself doesn’t feature the typical guitar/bass/drum set-up but instead goes for electronic beats instead. It reminds me a lot of The xx, and makes me think that Bastille might just be how The xx would sound if they turned up their volume and tempo. That being said though, such a comparison shouldn’t be taken at face value. Bastille’s vocalist Dan Smith, whilst in some ways sounding like the typical indie-rock vocalist, still manages to make his singing style work for him, and help make the songs on the album work.
Overall, ‘Bad Blood’ is a good début album, that still has many flaws. In such an over-used genre, it is refreshing to see some bands trying to do something just that little bit different, and I do have to applaud Bastille as a band for not producing the same generic-indie-rock that is dominating the genre these days. That being said though, there’s a lot that Bastille still need to do to become a great band. At the moment, they are just good, which isn’t a bad thing. They’ve only just released their début album, and therefore still have a lot of time to prove themselves. We’ll just have to see what direction they’ll take themselves in, in the future.
- ★★★☆☆ 3/5
- Bad Blood
- Weight Of Living, Pt.I