EP Review: Bastette – Awakening

Bastette quickly became one of the best finds of 2021 with their EP, Exposed. Now, almost exactly a year later, they’re back with another EP. Going for another bite at the cherry, Bastette have created a masterclass in pop rock. Full of modernity and forward thinking with a smidgen of alternative to keep you on your toes, it’s a far cry from most other modern rock bands and it’s most welcome for it.

The four tracks become a very interesting listen on a full playthrough. Where the predecessor had its identity laid bare across the five tracks as they set out what they’re about, Awakening takes the opposite strategy. Here, each song has its own identity instead. And whilst normally that can make for a jarring listening as a band records songs, duct tapes them together and tries to pass it off as an EP or album, it works on this one.

Bastette offers different flavours of who they are through the four songs and it’s in the sequencing of these tracks that makes it a consistent listen. With the rockier tracks bookending the EP, and the pop tracks sandwiched in the middle, it allows each song to breathe and make for a quick but incredibly enjoyable listen. As opening track “Fiction” slithers with dark, brooding tones, building to its crescendo, pop tones make their appearance to allow the band to pick up where they left off.

“Down” is laced with venom as minimalist atmospheric soundscapes do a lot of the heavy lifting for the pre-choruses and as it lurches forward into the chorus itself, guitars make their presence known with bright, clean tones against firm drums, contrasting against the drum-led intro which sounds beefier. “Good Time Girl” has a sultry bluesy undertone to its intro before its bouncy chorus and would be a perfect set opener if the band wanted to go for a more sinister intro to the band.

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However, the band have saved the best for last with bombastic closer “Psycho”. It’s an anthem for all those who have been gaslit and questioned their own reality. As rock smarts blend seamlessly with the pop gloss, it’s easily the highlight of the EP. Acting as the conclusion to every song which came before it, not just on this EP, it’s as if the band have taken everything they’ve learned and poured it into this for the climax as if to hint where their future lies.

For some, Awakening could easily be shunned as “too poppy”. But this is a rock release, make no mistake about it. Whilst the previous EP leaned heavily on the influences of Halestorm and The Pretty Reckless, this EP presents Bastette for who they truly are: themselves. It’s a release which begs for you to ensure the repeat button is on so you don’t have to waste time manually hitting the play button every twelve minutes. As the band have improved on every element from last time around, their positive first impression has evolved into a band you definitely want to hear more from now they’ve come into their own.

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Awakening is released on 30th September

Check out all the bands we review in 2022 on our Spotify and YouTube playlists!

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