Bastille – Doom Days (Album Review)

If Bad Blood was an album about the past, and Wild World was a prediction for the very bleak future, then Bastille have completed this their first trilogy of albums with an album for the present.

Aptly titled Doom Days, Bastille’s third album is a party for the end of the world, each song taking place at different parts of the night, beginning with 2018 single ‘Quarter Past Midnight’, described by lead singer Dan Smith as ‘an opening scene-setter. It’s about escapism, when you want the night to keep going and you try to lose yourself in it for whatever reason’.

The night continues with ‘Bad Decisions’, a track that sets the tone for the end of the world, with Smith singing ‘if the world is ending, let’s stay up all night’ and ‘maybe this is where it ends, take a bow for the bad decisions that we made’.

A shift in tempo for ‘The Waves’ and ‘Divide’, a change in mood that we all feel during a night out.

Knowing the bands previous work, and how passionate they are about the political landscape and current affairs, I wonder if the lyric ‘why would we divide, when we could come together?’ is just about a group of people at a party, or something deeper.

The only way to change the mood at a party when there’s that shift in tempo, is to take or drink something to liven things up, and the euphoric ‘Million Pieces’ is exactly that mood shift that every night out needs.

An energetic, almost EDM like track, almost sounds like something that Bastille would have only usually put out as a remix of one of their other singles, however it sounds right at home at this post-apocalyptic celebration.

There’s a few more political digs in title track ‘Doom Days’, some less subtle than others’.

“We fucked this house up like the planet, we were running riot, crazy that some people still deny it’

“Think I’m addicted to my phone, my scrolling horror show, I’m live streaming the final days of Rome’

and

‘We’ll be the proud remainers, here til the morning breaks us’

While dressed up as simply expressing that they want to stick this party out til the end, it’s quite obvious that these are shots at Trump, the way the world film every world disaster, and of course, Brexit.

4AM begins to bring the night to a close, lyrically and melodically, with ‘the best of us past out, I don’t know who’s where’, and ‘Those Nights’ details the final moments of stumbling throughout the house in a state of confusion before passing out.

The closing track, ‘Joy’, takes place at 8:34, the moment you wake up on the kitchen floor, your mind filling with fear and regrets from the night before, until you see your lover’s name light up your phone, forgetting all of your worries and you are filled with only joy.

Bastille’s newfound confidence can be heard in every second of Doom Days, which is all at once their most personal, their most political and their most danceable record.

Doom Days by Bastille is available now on Spotify, and in all good record retailers. 

4.5/5

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