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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Wild World’ solidifies Bastille’s presence in rock music

    Wild+World+solidifies+Bastilles+presence+in+rock+music
    Virgin EMI

    Bastille’s debut album Bad Blood was a worldwide sensation and put the British indie rock band on the top of the global charts back in 2013. Fans seemed to fall in love with Bastille’s unique music style and poetic lyrics, as Bastille sold 500,000 copies of Bad Blood in the U.S. alone.

    Bastille is back with their second studio album, Wild World. A second LP for a popular band is always a difficult one, as it determines whether the band will continue growing its popularity and become a standout in the music industry or remain as a passing fad.

    With Wild World, the band showed it’s here to stay.

    The album starts off with “Good Grief,” the already-popular single that was released in mid-June. The song is bouncy and fun, a pop lead single that can doesn’t lose its value after one listen.

    Like Bastille’s first popular single, “Pompeii,” the album opener is an introduction to the group’s upbeat sound. It entices new listeners to keep the record playing and reminds fans why they fell in love with the band in the first place.

    Bastille doesn’t stay content sticking to one style and quickly changes the tone with “An Act of Kindness.” While the song still has a catchy beat, there is clearly a shift toward a darker tone.

    With “Glory,” Bastille embraces an orchestral sound — something it did often on their debut album. The violins, cellos, piano and other stringed instruments alongside ones traditionally used in rock give the track a layered and complex sound.

    Bastille revisits this big sound in “Send Them Off!,” but this time features brass instruments and horns rather than strings. The inclusion of these instruments makes it one of those triumphant songs that listeners will belt out at the tops of their lungs.

    “Four Walls (The Ballad of Perry Smith)” is the most intriguing track on the record. Bastille has been known to reference pop culture and mythology in its music with songs like, “Laura Palmer” in reference to the ’90s television show, “Twin Peaks” or “Icarus,” a song about the famous Greek myth.

    In this track, however, they reference real-life murderous history.

    Perry Smith was 31-years old when he was arrested and charged with the murder of Herbert and Bonnie Clutter and their two teenage children. Smith and his partner Richard Hickock claimed to have only planned to rob the Kansas family on Nov. 14, 1959, but the two were convicted of murder and were sentenced to death.

    The song “Four Walls” talks about Smith’s imprisonment on death row, referencing Holcomb, Kansas, where the murders took place, and mentioning the hanging. At the end of the song there is a recorded voice saying, “This is a call from Kansas State Penitentiary.” The music then abruptly cuts to a recording of what seems to be a police interview with a man who says, “Being brought up one way and trying to see another way is very difficult.”

    There is no information available at the time to say if this recording is either legitimate archival material or a reenactment of sorts, but as soon as the man finishes his last word the records cuts to the next song, “Blame.”

    At first listen, it seems like all the songs on this album are individual entities that, besides existing on the same record as one another, don’t have much in common. However, on a second or third listen it starts to seem like there’s a common thread throughout many — if not all — the songs on the album related to Smith and the Clutter murders.

    “Blame” is about someone getting what they deserve for doing something awful, “Two Evils” seems to be someone trying to convince themselves that they aren’t as terrible as their actions suggest and “Send Them Off!” is someone asking for help to get away from their inner demons.

    There are most likely more ties noticeable as you listen to the album more, but the relations between the songs and Smith’s murders are evident.

    Whatever is the hidden meaning behind Wild World’s songs is a supreme example of a band whose second album is just as resonating, if not more, than its first.


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