Film dialogue from ‘Weird Science’, a reference to ‘In Cold Blood’ and a little dig at Donald Trump, Bastille’s cinematic-themed second album certainly puts on a show. Commencing on a high; lead single ‘Good Grief’ puts you on the edge of your seat with a compelling chorus and an incredibly infectious hook. Fourteen tracks later however, as the credits begin rolling, you are left feeling unwhelmed and slightly dazed, wishing you had bought that large popcorn after all.
Wild World is definitely a step forward from 2013’s Bad Blood which was the product of good songwriting, lost in a garish compendium of genres. The London four-piece have upped the guitar input and reduced the lacklustre piano tracks, but still struggle to define what direction they are going in and don’t show any sign of wanting to try.
Lyrically more poignant, ‘The Currents’ sees frontman Dan Smith is reflecting on his failure to comprehend absurd opinions, hinting to none other than Mister Trump as he sings, “Oh, would you stop firing up the crazies?” The more relaxed track ‘An Act of Kindness’ seems to focus on Smith’s irritating vocal habit of stringing out syllables to fit the melody “an act of ka-a-indness is what you sho-ow-ow, to me.” Smith’s vocal tone is put to better use on ‘Warmth’ a highlight of the album which explores the security we find in people when the modern world can seem overbearing.
The album experiences an influx of strings which can be found on ‘Glory’ and ‘Power’, while the guitar led ‘Two Evils’ is a bland but well needed break from the overload of energetic indie pop. The crunching guitar riff from ‘Blame’ is a real plot twist and wouldn’t seem out of place on a Vaccines album. Like hearing a kitten roar, it is impressive but bizarre and uncomfortably out of character for the usually tame band.
Shamelessly quite a cooperate entity, Bastille’s family-friendly vibe is something many musos avoid but Wild World if nothing else proves they sure know how to deliver a great chorus. Despite delivering poignant lyrics that cover a range of relatable topics the band often lose focus and seem erratic when formatted to an LP. Unlike many indie-pop bands around, Bastille are not conforming or masking their identity, their biggest issue is not being able to confidently form one.