Review of Bastila's self-titled album
According to their biography, Bastila get their name from a bar in the Czech Republic where they once played table football during a visit. It's this kind of madcap logic which perfectly encapsulates an album that refuses to be pinned down to one particular style at any one point. Bastila announce themselves most abruptly on their self titled debut album with jangly rhythm guitars and Motown era trumpets which are a permanent fixture throughout this record. The chanting 'you cant catch me' can then be heard, and at this pace who possibly can?
A stop for breath still isn't taken during The Slackers cynical perspective of growing old. Boasting the same collection of trumpets and rhythm guitars of You cant catch me, only this time intertwined with a Ska skank, it really is the fast paced intro you want from a new young band introducing themselves.
Jackie boy is a delightful bluesy effort that features a beautiful vocal reminiscent of The Bluetones Mark Morris. Opening with a soothing brass section and acoustic guitars, you're quickly whisked off to the American Midwest to hear a tale about the mysterious Jackie boy who'll 'never learn'.
Like a lot of up and coming bands at the moment, Bastila list Manchester's The Stone Roses as a musical influence, but you certainly don't need to be told that once you've heard the brilliant atmospheric single Ghosts. Not only are the moody guitar parts in the mould of John Squire, but the vocals also have more than a hint of Ian Browns stone cold delivery about them.
Raging from moody Roses era indie to brass powered Ska before trying its hand at blues, Bastila is an album that couldn't be more experimental if it tried. This shouldn't work, its very rare an artist or a band can present an album with so many different styles and sounds and pull it off so effortlessly. But Bastila achieve this most challenging of tasks due to the sheer quality of their song writing.