The follow up to an album that changed my taste in music
12th October 2016
When Bastille dropped their first album in the spring of 2013, I was undergoing a bit of a musical transition. Heavy metal/metalcore had long been my music of choice, but I was starting to move away from that somewhat into the rather hipster world of indietronica, where bands replace vowels with the letter V and begin their songs with samples of niche 70's B-movies. Hearing Pompeii was the catalyst, really, for my music taste to shift further to the electropop spectrum. Although I do still listen to metal regularly, it's not really the majority of what I listen to anymore.
Bad Blood was my album of the year for 2013, and to be honest it's not really been bettered since then. It's an album I find myself putting back on regularly, so I was very excited for the follow-up. What I got wasn't as strong as the first album, and on first listen through I was even a little disappointed, but I've grown to love it with a few more playthroughs. There's definitely a bit of a polarity between songs I enjoy and songs I don't so much, though - and it's almost invariably the slow songs that are weaker.
Lead single Good Grief follows the formula of Pompeii, by disguising what are actually very downbeat lyrics with a catchy, upbeat tempo. It's not quite as dark as ash-ridden corpses, but it's still ultimately a sad song about the death of a loved one and trying to come to terms with grief - even putting a positive spin on it. Quite literally, good grief.
There's heavy use of distorted bass throughout the whole album, and it works pretty well, giving it a unique sound - The Currents and Warmth, two of my favourite songs on the record, both display this very well.
The problem definitely arrives when they try to go more ballad-y - I'm really not a fan of &An Act of Kindness* or Two Evils, although I can't quite put my finger on why. It's not that Dan Smith's voice isn't suited to that type of singing, but it's just better suited at the more pop-orientated tracks. The main problem is that the whole of Wild World is a bit slower-paced than Bad Blood - which means there's less of it I enjoy.
Send Them Off! is probably my favourite song this time out, which starts with a sample ("It was a slight on my honour, so he deserved it... but we're talking about the most brilliant mind this world has ever seen!") from apparently terrible Italian 70's sci-fi flick Cosmos: War of the Planets - and like I said, this is basically what my music taste has become.
Wild World won't have as much of an impact on my personal music taste as Bad Blood did, but I'm already finding myself putting it on quite often. I don't love it in the same way, but it's going to keep me happy for a while - and with a wide variety of remixes coming out seemingly every day, it's going to have a fair bit of longevity.