A horrible hack

Bastions

Bedfellows Part 2 – The Forgotten Daughter

Year Released: 2014
Format: 12" EP
Label: Holy Roar
 
Reviewed by Rob Mair on Feb 26, 2014
If pushed to describe Bastions in one word, I’d go for ‘uncompromising’.

‘Uncompromising’ because everything about ‘Bedfellows Part 2 – The Forgotten Daughter’ is played straight and true with passion and venom; ‘Uncompromising’ because the concept is brutally bleak with no room for sentiment; and ‘uncompromising’ because it bludgeons you into submission rather than bending to your will as you try and tease out an ‘in’.

Set as a companion piece to ‘Bedfellows Part 1 – The Bastard Son’ this short and sharp EP is similarly dark, with an equally challenging subject matter. Last time Bastions were exploring the story of the son with separation anxiety disorder and associated mental health problems, this time the daughter has Korsakoff syndrome (a form of dementia related to alcohol misuse or severe malnutrition), meaning you get a jumbled and confused picture of the family history.

Consequently, it’s a fractious and challenging listen, but the sheer weight and ferocity of Bastions ensures it is carried out with style. Monstrously heavy in places, the subject matter adds depth and gravitas missing from many contemporaries – and it certainly makes a change listening to something that is both narrative-driven and thematically stimulating (off the top of my head only Cross My Heart’s ‘Temporary Contemporary’ and WaxWing’s ‘Nobody Can Take What Everybody Owns’ tackle mental health issues in such a way – there’s no doubt countless more) and for that they should be both applauded and embraced.

The songs themselves are equally brooding, with both ‘Foreign Bodies’ and the brilliantly disorientating ‘Mother’s Ruin’ really standing out. No doubt heading for the top of the UK hardcore pile, it’s testament to their wilful nature that something so emotionally draining is also so belligerently uncompromising and strikingly successful.


Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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