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Bastille - Bad Blood Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 6.75
Musicianship 6.75
Lyrics 6.75
Production 6.75
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 7
Reviewer Tilt 6.75
Final Verdict: 68%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.75
Musicianship 9.07
Lyrics 8.75
Production 9.78
Creativity 9.45
Lasting Value 9.3
Reviewer Tilt 9.45
Average: 94%
Inside AP.net

Bastille - Bad Blood

Reviewed by: Blake Solomon (09/06/13)
BastilleBad Blood
Record Label: EMI / Virgin Records
Release Date: September 3, 2013

Bastille are one of a trillion bands that blow up everywhere but here. Rock music doesn’t exist in America, and when it does our saturation level is exactly one band. And that band isn’t Bastille. Now, our Buzznet Overlords tell me that AbsolutePunk is international! We did it! So this ethnocentric rant means nothing to some of you, except confirming your already-held belief that America is a fucking wasteland.

And despite our idiocracy, I’m not sure I’m qualified to say that Bastille is rock music. There are drums and big choruses and keyboards and a bass and stuff. But it’s all overshadowed by Neon Trees-dance moves and Atlas Genius hip-shaking. A song like “Pompeii,” which British people probably hate right now because they’re too acerbic, is the song of summer you’ll listen to until winter. And throwing away it’s oh-so-cheesy lyrics, “Icarus” finds a bonafide star in lead singer Dan Smith. (The band is called Bastille because Smith was born on Bastille Day, so yeah, he’s probably great.) His deep, accented wail is a magnificent foil to the man-sized helpings of sugary pop accompanying him.

Bad Blood ain’t brief, either. Which, hand it to these guys, there is plenty to keep us engaged. “These Streets” is almost tropical when its chorus hits and “Get Home” layers vocals on vocals on vocals to end the record with the reality that every party must end. And even more depressing, there’s always something to clean up. But for the most part we’re given toe-tappers with clichéd subject matters (“Weight of Living, Pt. II” and “Daniel in the Den”). For everything Smith lacks in wordsmithing, his bandmates make up for in straight up dramatic songwriting.

You do get the sense that Bastille found this stuff very important. Like a third grader writing his first love letter. Which, I understand, is a terribly condescending analogy. These guys are not kids and they write fantastic electro rock tunes, but there are some times when it all seems comically overblown. It’s like listening to a bunch of people who didn’t realize they’re starring in “Rock of Ages.”

While the record has brought out some conflict within me, the hits are so on-point that you forget about everything else. Jittery rock opera pieces like “Laura Palmer” are exciting bits of simple storytelling, but there is always the slight stench of overacting. I realize it’s difficult to make music like this sound sincere. However, if Bastille could become a smidge more human, their appeal might not just be crossover, but across the pond.


6.8/10


Recommended If You Like: The 1975, Atlas Genius, The Naked and Famous, Kodaline


What it iswww.bastillebastille.com
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 30.
08:56 AM on 09/06/13
#2
tomtom94
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I'm going to assume that the comment about British people hating Pompeii was a joke, given that right now it is THE breakout hit of the year (catapulting Bastille to superstardom with it)...
09:28 AM on 09/06/13
#3
bertbro
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I can't be the only one who thinks the vocalist sounds exactly like Josh Franceschi from You Me At Six....
09:30 AM on 09/06/13
#4
smowashere
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Wow, really surprised you didn't score this higher. Bastille is quite refreshing and is one of the very few indie-pop-rock-band-things that is doing something very, very right (imo). (Alongside The 1975 and Everything Everything).

Wish they would gain more steam over in the U.S.
09:30 AM on 09/06/13
#5
tottivillarossi
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I'm going to assume that the comment about British people hating Pompeii was a joke, given that right now it is THE breakout hit of the year (catapulting Bastille to superstardom with it)...
Pretty much. Most people I know like that song, including myself.
09:33 AM on 09/06/13
#6
XenoAbe
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I think this album just needs to trim some of the fat. There's some stellar tracks on here, but there's also a few snoozers they could have done away with. The rating should be slightly higher but I don't disagree as much as I thought I did upon my first reaction.
09:34 AM on 09/06/13
#7
XenoAbe
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Wow, really surprised you didn't score this higher. Bastille is quite refreshing and is one of the very few indie-pop-rock-band-things that is doing something very, very right (imo). (Alongside The 1975 and Everything Everything).

Wish they would gain more steam over in the U.S.
Sweet, another Everything Everything fan! :)
09:44 AM on 09/06/13
#8
Alligator Blood
okay i smash your corolla
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I can't be the only one who thinks the vocalist sounds exactly like Josh Franceschi from You Me At Six....
I said this as soon as I first heard Pompeii.
10:51 AM on 09/06/13
#9
luvsickcatalyst
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Kinda surprised with this review seeing as everyone on this site is blowing a load over The 1975 and these guys are very similar in terms of lyricism and catchy, synth-based pop rock (albeit The 1975 go in a way more '80s pop novelty direction). Easily one of my favorite pop records of the last few years; Blake said it, but when it comes to single-worthy songs, they absolutely nail it.
11:05 AM on 09/06/13
Blake Solomon
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I think this album just needs to trim some of the fat. There's some stellar tracks on here, but there's also a few snoozers they could have done away with. The rating should be slightly higher but I don't disagree as much as I thought I did upon my first reaction.
definitely. editing is hard, man.
11:59 AM on 09/06/13
TylerHartman
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This album blew me away when I first head it, however many months ago...still does. Stoked to see them two weeks from today. The sheer number of should-be-pop-hits on this album, far exceeds the new 1975, in my opinion...even though I am also in love with that record.

This is a top 10'er of the year for me.
12:34 PM on 09/06/13
moore182
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I'm confused by this review. I just got into Bastille because (in my opinion) they actually make pop-rock music more appealing and more interesting. And I believe the vocals are just one of the many reasons. To give them a 6.75 is a slap in the face to a guy who can actually sing (and sing just as well live). To me, the lyrics are refreshing as well. At least, they're not singing about Chocolate or throwing in "god damn" in every song to try to be cool (yeah, you Panic!). I get this is just your take on it, and I'm not trying to attack you. I just feel you robbed them of a few deserved points. And do you feel Pompeii's lyrics are cheesy? I thought that he created a great allusion in the song.
04:51 PM on 09/06/13
thechetearly
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Such a low sore! This album blows my socks off.
05:21 PM on 09/06/13
AussieBoy
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Kinda surprised with this review seeing as everyone on this site is blowing a load over The 1975 and these guys are very similar in terms of lyricism and catchy, synth-based pop rock (albeit The 1975 go in a way more '80s pop novelty direction). Easily one of my favorite pop records of the last few years; Blake said it, but when it comes to single-worthy songs, they absolutely nail it.


I'm with you. There is so much dripping over 1975. When these guys are getting wayyyy overlooked
06:43 PM on 09/06/13
S9Dallasoz
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I'm with you. There is so much dripping over 1975. When these guys are getting wayyyy overlooked

For what its worth, "Pompeii" is performing real well at modern rock radio. Might go top 5 soon and most, if not all, of their upcoming US tour is sold out.
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