Bedfellows Part Two: The Forgotten Daughter EP

Written by: PP on 25/01/2014 01:39:15

About three years ago I reviewed "Island Living" EP by Bastions, where I referenced the brooding, claustrophobic form of intensity-driven hardcore scene emerging from Britain, and posed the question when, not if, things were gonna boil over and explode into a monumental release. Fast-forward to 2014 and we're living in that moment. The UK scene is flourishing with amazing hardcore bands that push the envelope into an experimental direction, and right in the middle of that movement you find Bastions, who have reached the second part in their two-part Bedfellows saga with "Bedfellows: The Forgotten Daughter" EP.

Just like the first one, "The Forgotten Daughter" continues to pummel its listener with wave-after-wave of hardcore with elements taken from genres as varied as sludge, metalcore, and screamo, resulting in an intense expression that rivals that of The Dillinger Escape's newer material. This is no mathcore, per se, but especially the roughened vocals draw from those guys in places, although instrumentally we find ourselves mostly in a territory inspired by Converge and Every Time I Die, and therefore by extension, Norma Jean. Especially "Foreign Bodies" emulates Every Time I Die's ferocious and uncompromising style, given how raw and coarse the song feels like, particularly in the vocal department. Something about a body and a cheese grater and all that, you know? Where the vocals crackle under the sheer intensity of the screaming? Yet the song is perhaps best categorized within hardcore punk given its high-octane approach and groovy riffs overall.

Closing track "Murmuring" displays some of the variety that has made Bastions one of the most exciting bands within the British scene as of late: the build up in this song is absolutely devastating. Similarly, "Mother's Ruin" takes its sweet time to get to the explosion point; plenty of roared vocals and even a quiet guitar-only section in the middle provides a perfect moment for soundscape to tear apart as it does about halfway into the song. Now, the question remains: is "Bedfellows" as a saga a masterpiece? Not necessarily. Even as a complete dual-EP it's difficult to argue so. The songs are great; but to be a masterpiece they need to be amazing. It's nonetheless a great example of the force and creativity that exists within the British hardcore scene. Bastions are one of the key up-and-coming bands to keep an eye with in the scene.

Download: Murmuring, Foreign Bodies
For the fans of: Every Time I Die, Kerouac, Converge, Norma Jean
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Release date 27.01.2014
Holy Roar Records

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