Arts & Entertainment


I have generally thought self-titled albums a sign of laziness, that or over-inflated ego/insecurity that one needs to announce one’s self twice. That the band allegedly take their name from a bar in the Czech Republic is not helping their argument for originality. What Bastila do have going for them is a fine set of Motown horns and more than a nod towards the likes of The Specials and other English ska-inspired pop bands. Jackie Boy is the album’s highlight and enough to justify its existence alone. A rare slower, melodic moment; it hangs on some brilliant interplay between guitar, horns and vocal melody; before everyone comes together in a glorious Celtic jig. They then return to the more frenetic pace that is generally only sustained by a young band on their first release. Ghosts is then a nod towards their declared influence, The Stone Roses, with some very Squires-like guitar; a little too reverential methinks. This aside, Bastila is a fine start, a young band covering much ground with little fault. Worth keeping an eye on these lads.

*** 1/2