British hardcore gang Bastions are two albums into their career and appear to provide something different from the gang of Gallows inspired bands currently on the market. Rather than being obsessed with being fast and brutal, this is a group that infuse their hardcore with emotion, in a style that is very similar to the likes of Touche Amore (although featuring less melody) and Converge. Their latest release is an EP by the name of Bedfellows: The Bastard Son.
Opening with “Pallor” you might initially believe you’ve put on the wrong CD, as it starts in a very nondescript, gentle fashion. It takes nearly a whole minute for everything to kick and when it does it’s fair to say you get what you were looking for. This is a slow trudging hardcore sound jammed full of emotion. “With Love” picks things up a lot with it being more of a full blown balls out hardcore track that goes full throttle the whole way through, a theme that’s continued with “A Life Less Lived” before “Amongst Crows” slows us back down. It’s a short EP but can easily be seen as a statement of intent. Bastions sound brilliant here and Jamie Durne’s vocals sound genuinely heart wrenching at times.
This makes an interesting counterpoint to the Dripback EP I reviewed yesterday. I enjoyed both immensely, but they are without a doubt the different sides of the hardcore coin. While Dripback are in the centre of the party chugging beers and head butting unsuspecting bouncers, Bastions are more likely to be in the background enjoying life a bit slower and emotionally connecting, although at the same time still likely to jump in and give the aforementioned bouncer a nutting. No matter what side of the bread you like your butter on however, you’ve got to admit hardcore is still in rude health entering 2014 and for that I think we can all be happy.