Bastille has always had a cult following which was only amplified by 2013's "Pompeii" and debut Bad Blood. The success of the single and album brought them a whole new sense of success. 2016 brings their follow up to their debut; sophomore record Wild World, and it's just as strong, if not even stronger than its predecessor.
Wild World is simply a lot of fun. It's full of groove and indie flair that make for many indie pop and rock jams. It begins with the dinky and funky 'Good Grief' complete with a dancey chorus and snaps. The sweeter yet grittier 'The Currents' follows it, this time using slightly distorted string punches to add to the warm vocals. The vocals are brought further with sweet lyrics about being swept away from love. The sweeter and lighter songs on the record act as a counter for the more upbeat and excited tracks: 'Two Evils' has beautiful jazzy, reverberating guitar and falsetto vocals which gives it a certain appeal you can't find on the higher energy tracks.
The best songs on this album are the songs that build up. It starts with 'An Act Of Kindness', beginning quietly with a piano before vocalist Dan Smith sings sweetly above them. The chorus kicks in with brilliant harmonies and a pulsing synth that resonates into the next verse. This album has a lot of lo-fi moments that are added in and really add a lot of flavor to some of the more heavily produced moments, and it's a really refreshing contrast. This song has these lo-fi string punches in the last chorus which builds in a beautiful wall of noise that concludes with Smith's harmonies. 'Four Walls (The Ballad Of Perry Smith)' is another example of the building excellence. This one has a slower and more subtle build, ultimately leading to a brilliant guitar solo at the end. This song feels like ends before it really hits that big moment, sadly. The "carry it with you" parts are absolute bliss. Those can't be forgotten.
Aside from build ups and indie flairs, there are some real rocking jams on this record. 'Blame' is the clearest example, the song starting off big and confidently with that giant riff. The chorus explodes with huge drums and epic guitar, and made all the more epic by the motivational lyrics: "Fall upon your knees / Sing ‘this is my body and soul here’ / Fall upon your knees/ Sing ‘you’ve got the power and control’ / Don’t pin it all on me". 'Power' also finds a lot of its energy originating from the guitar. Besides guitar, brass plays a big role in the record's core; songs that are brought up by fat brass moments include the electrifying 'Send Them Off!' with its giant chorus and the beautiful 'Oil On Water' which pairs the brass and orchestras of the record in one track.
There are a few moments that are a bit disappointing on the album, though. One of them was that 'Four Walls' concluded just as the solo seemed to start moving (as previously mentioned). It felt like the song was about to go somewhere huge before it was stopped by an interlude. The interlude seems to fight itself with what it wants to be. The album cover and the interludes indicate the band wanted something cinematic and dramatic. While those qualities are true of some songs, there are a lot of moments where it seems that theme is masked by the necessity of a big stadium-filling presence. The end of the main album especially seems to have that issue, and it results in a lot of very average indie pop tracks that take it out on a very dull note considering all of the character the rest of the album had.
Bastille's sophomore record is a great example of a band progressing and evolving. Their debut gave them publicity as well as a foundation of works to come. Lots of bands have albums that either try to so something completely different or something that's too similar to the former. Bastille used the defining elements of Bad Blood, added their new experiences into them, and created Wild World. If the band is capable of doing that, I'm exited what to see what they do next. The future's looking bright for them.
Favorite Tracks: Send Them Off!, An Act Of Kindness, Two Evils
Least Favorite Tracks: Winter Of Our Youth, Snakes
Rating: 79 / 100