Seven Bands To See At Boston Calling: #6, Bastille

With Boston Calling exactly a week away, we’ve decided to make a list of seven bands you do not want to miss. Whether they’re a headliner or an opener, whether they’re hip-hop, dance, rock & roll, or something somewhere in the middle, there are a handful of sets that you’re definitely going to want to pencil into your schedule.

On our list so far: #7, Magic Man/The Box Tiger

Today, we talk about our #6 pick – Bastille!


Taking a detour away from their The Good, The Bad Blood, and the Ugly Tour, which has been fully sold-out since the presales were posted, London’s Bastille will be making their second of three trips to Boston this year. With much thanks to be paid to the enormous reception of single “Pompeii,” the band has been nearly inescapable for months. However, the success of the single shouldn’t eclipse the rest of the brilliant Bad Blood, nor will their live show lose any energy outside the confines of the three and a half minutes of their breakout hit.

For fans of: You Me at Six, American Authors, the 1975,
For a taste, check out: “Weight of Living, Pt. II,” “Bad Blood,” “Things We Lost in the Fire”
When you can see them: Sunday, 7:10 PM

Review:: Oh, What A Life | American Authors

Do you ever have that one song? You know, that one song – the one that you always stop for when it comes on the radio, the one that you always sing along to, the one that you know every word to, but you don’t know who sings it? Yeah, well, for me, American Authors are the mystery men behind a few of mine. And if their debut Oh, What A Life is any indicator for what is getting played, I should spend a little more time scanning the radio.

The album is carried greatly by the success of two huge singles – “Best Day of My Life,” along with the introductory “Believer,” which I didn’t even realize that I had on my iPod until just now, but anyway. The positioning of the two songs, used in the first and third spots on the record, is great use of two crucial song slots – the first giving a preview of what to expect, while the third boasts what the band can do when everything truly culminates.

But, a band and an album shouldn’t be able to survive on its singles alone.

Luckily, the rest of Oh, What a Life holds its own.

The echoing “woahs” tucked behind the lead vocals of “Luck” add a beautiful layer of depth to a rich, strong chorus. Later, the soft start into “Home” brings n expectation for a standard ballad, though it quickly, sporadically switched back and forth between a racing pop song and a shredded operatic anthem, with James Shelley’s guitarwork to be significantly thanked. It feels like a combination of the grandness of Five Score…-era Relient K blended with the use of thumping background effects that Imagine Dragons have been perfecting for the last few years.

Something about the introduction to “Love” didn’t sit quite right with me on first listen. It felt like a slowed, acoustic version of “Best Day of My Life,” for some reason, and I just couldn’t shake it, unfortunately. Aside from this personal speedbump, it catches its stride nicely. Much like “Love,” the hyper “Hit It” loses me at the start and doesn’t fully bring me back. Fast and frantic, it is noticeably the same band, but doesn’t resonate with the same intensity that other songs do.

For each small issue I felt, however few they may be, there were a handful of elements that stood out and showed something worth mention. There’s a lot to be impressed with here, and as a debut, that makes it that much more commendable. The album closes powerfully, vocally cycling “And we laughed / and we cried / and thought oh, what a life!” before serenely fading out. It leaves on a gentle note (no pun intended), and does so with a lasting sense of positivity.

American Authors have been the recipients of a lot of buzz in recent months. 

And while some would say they’ve been given their chance or they’ve found success, I would say they’ve certainly earned it.

Release Date: March 3rd, 2014
Rating: 3.65/5
Runtime: 37:03 

1. Believer
2. Think About It
3. Best Day of My Life
4. Luck
5. Trouble
6. Hit It
7. Home
8. Love
9. Heart of Stone
10. Ghost
11. Oh, What a Life

American Authors are:
Zac Barnett – Vocals, guitar
James Adam Shelley – Guitar, banjo
Dave Rublin – Bass
Matt Sanchez – Drums

Written by Eric Riley