Review by Peter Coates – www.facebook.com/InsideEdgePhotography
Released – 17th Sept 2021
The upcoming EP Bastette Exposed was recorded at the Lounge Recording Studio in Wigan with producer Gareth Nuttall (Frank Turner). Taking influence from the Pretty Reckless, Halestorm and Starbenders among others, and fronted by Caroline Eve Kenyon who has more Amy Lee about her than Alissa White Gluz.
Bastette hail from Blackburn in the North of England and mesh sparkling rock sonics and gritty pop smarts with original songwriting that lyrically resonates with real life. Each track on the EP is laid bare with an exploration of betrayal, love, sex, control, manipulation, and passion all moulded into one, but authentically asks “how much of it is real, and how much of it is fantasy?”
The band is featured on the just released New Wave of Classic Rock compilation album reviewed here a short while ago http://lifemusicmedia.com/album-review-new-wave-of-classic-rock-volume-one/ and hearing them on this encouraged me to dig deeper! There is a fresh modern sound here, with shades of darkness and melancholy harmonies, and a real old-school synth-rock feel to opener Stand Back, which has some Depeche Mode / Gary Numan overtones that contrast well with the heaviness of the guitars.
Next up is the first single which is on the NWOCR album, Talk About It, and this is a blistering track, with a super-catchy pre-chorus that has multiple vocal lines weaving in and out, over the gritty drone of the guitars. There is a great mix of power riffs and subtle lead lines from Sam Newiss, underpinned by the slabs of guitars from Eoin Kelly, which really provide the Bastette sound.
The melodies for Sick & Twisted are more upbeat, which is a contrast with the subject matter of a toxic relationship gone wrong, and the keyboards provide a catchy lead line while the distorted guitars grind away underneath.
Rollercoaster has a moody intro with Caroline showing her impressive and effortless-sounding vocal range, before the band kicks in with multiple layers of guitars and effects, providing a maelstrom of harmonic intensity! There is heaps of light and shade in the track, and this dynamic contrast allows the vocals to shine in the verse, and the provide the clear, pure melodies over the rest of the band in the chorus.
The heaviest and darkest track closes the EP in Poison, and this absolutely epitomises what I think the band are all about – this has power and passion in every facet of the song, with some superb guitar breaks echoing behind the vocals, the voice tearing at the soul, while the rhythm section of Paddy Duffy on Bass and Rob Hirst (not Midnight Oil) behind the kit smash out the beat with some intricate patterns, allowing both guitarists to provide the wall of sound which is something of a signature of the band, and the closing 15 seconds are just epic.
What I’d really like to hear is a proper production version of these tracks, because my promo download copy does not do the huge sound and scale of the music enough justice. There is a slightly muddy tone to what I am hearing which brings the impact down a bit – and I am sure this is not how it was recorded!
The band is certainly a modern rock band with some catchy and melodic pop-rock hooks, and I look forward to the next chapter in their story.
1. Stand Back
2. Talk About It
3. Sick & Twisted
Pic – Raw Photography
Website : https://www.bastette.co.uk/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Bastette
YouTube : https://www.instagram.com/bastetteuk/
Talk About It : https://youtu.be/2dUNUZmBVXk
Sick & Twisted : https://youtu.be/AzVEsZbcPCI
Caroline Kenyon – Vocals/Songwriter
Sam Newiss – Lead Guitar
Eoin Kelly – Rhythm Guitar
Paddy Duffy – Bass
Rob Hirst – Drums
Photo Credit – Raw Photography