The latest offering from the 4-piece Bastille is a re-release of their number one album Bad Blood, including an extra disk. The first CD is the same as the original album, but the second CD is where things get interesting, with a collection of B-sides that did not make the album as well as a condensed version of the free mix tapes they released last year “other people heartache 1&2”.
Those who have seen the band live will have already heard many of these extra tracks including “The Silence” and “Haunt” which was released as a separate EP in America prior to their album. They might not have made the original album cut that is not to say they did not meet the same standard. In fact several of these songs would have perhaps been a better choice. Poet in particular is twist on a traditional love song telling of someone writing about the person they love so they will “live forever” on the pages. This song doesn’t quite fit the feel of the original Bad Blood so I can see why it was left out, but it is definitely worth a listen to hear different side of the band.
Part 2 of the second disk is a short mix tape, taking the best pickings from the two they released last year. The band originally recoded theses while singer Dan Smith was recovering from Glandular Fever and released them on the internet for free. However as they contained many samples and audio clips from films which they did not have permission to use, they have now been taken down. “What would you do” is a cover of the City High track, a song you would not normally associate with Bastille, however they have made it their own often playing it during their live set. “Of The Night” is a mix of the two 90’s Dance classics Rhythm of the night and Rhythm is a dancer. During their live set this song is one of the highlights with the band performing it as if it were their own, however the studio version doesn’t quite live up to expectations with the energy just falling flat and sounding a little over produced.
The two new songs included on the mix tape – “Skulls” and “The Draw” – show how much the sound of bastille has developed. “Skulls” heads in a more electronic direction and seems to be a similar theme to “Pompeii”, a conversation about the afterlife and looking to the future, with breathy vocals and thumping bass. On the other hand “The Draw” ventures into a far rockier sound introducing an electric guitar for the first time in the studio, providing a haunting backdrop to echoed vocals until the breakdown when Dan Smith starts to snarl down the mic. A more aggressive sound, very different to the pop sounds of “Pompeii” it is definitely a stand out track. The band have been performing this on their latest tour which might hint that they are planning to release it as a single, once the buzz from “Of the Night” has died down.
Essentially this is a ‘greatest hits’ album containing almost every song that the band has ever recorded, but unless you are a super fan it is probably easier to download the individual tracks rather than re-buy the entire thing.