Internet sensation Bastille is the brainchild of singer/songwriter Dan Smith, who is joined by three other members for the band’s live performances. Smith’s strong South London accent resonates clearly through the album and his voice occasionally bears a ridiculous likeness to that of Josh Franceschi of You Me At Six, which in my humble opinion is no bad thing.
Bad Blood opens with Pompeii which is to be the band’s next single. The rousing “eh oh”’s immediately grab your attention and before I knew it I was tapping my feet and having a little wiggle along. Swapping from the slightly electronic beats of their pop anthems (Pompeii, Things We Lost in the Fire) to more heartfelt emotional ballad-esque tracks (Weight of Living, Oblivion) Bastille have managed to perfectly cater for a dramatic spectrum of emotions. The stand out tracks are firstly, Flaws – the track which drew me to Bastille in the first place and attracted a chronic amount of attention on the internet. It really is the recipe for the perfect pop song – cute, catchy melody, a good rhythm and Dan Smith’s lovely voice marrying them both.
Overjoyed is another really gorgeous song; almost haunting. The lyrics and the melody are simple yet effective and offer a more sensitive production than the light-hearted pop tracks we’re used to from Bastille. Title track Bad Blood has a nearly choral backing track and a slightly reggae beat; this combined with some good old off-beat clapping creates a really atmospheric song which would be the perfect soundtrack to some tense indie film I’d probably watch and love. The more upbeat tracks (Flaws, Pompeii) have an air of Two Door Cinema Club’s quirkiness about them which is interesting as Bastille are actually touring with Two Door Cinema Club currently!
Some critics might state that this album is a bit samey, samey… and they would probably be right. I think this is largely down to Smith’s distinctive vocal tone and the recognisable, catchy beats which feature throughout a lot of Bastille’s tracks. Having said this, this album is absolutely guaranteed to get you smiling and committing some serious head-bopping. I’ve had the album on repeat for best part of a week and I’m still not over it, so I guess in this case, as of yet, you can’t have too much of a good thing. Bad Blood is an absolute corker of a first album, highly recommended.