Words: Simon Opie
Bayonets - 'Bayonets' (Release: 20th September)
The debut Bayonets album – 'Wishes & Wishes' - was pretty good although hardly groundbreaking. The album reminded me of 'Ideas Above Our Station' by Hundred Reasons – both for its content and its sense of a significant new arrival. But where Surrey’s finest seemed to buckle under the weight of expectation, Bayonets from Herefordshire have kicked on and this second album is really remarkable.
There’s not a bad track on 'Bayonets' and it’s the kind of album you imagine you might hear sometime but never actually do. It skillfully blends the emo style of, well, Hundred Reasons, with some Fugazi influence and a dash of Radiohead to create a rock record resolutely contemporary and absolutely fresh. In some respects it’s not really surprising that Bayonets have opted for immediate retirement since it is hard to envisage how they could ever better it. Nonetheless, I am genuinely saddened to think that this band might have called it a day so early in their career.
So what, you may ask, makes it so good? Much has been made of how young the members of this band are, but, for me, the songs have great energy (although they feature multiple references to both sleep and loss) and no trace of immaturity. The album is quite short at 33 minutes or so, which clearly cuts down on the need for filler. The 10 songs are hook-laden and heartfelt, the playing is excellent and the production by Ant West is perfectly judged.
It’s hard to elaborate because the music speaks so strongly for itself, so I can only recommend that you seek this album out. There’s nothing I can say that will be more compelling than the experience of hearing it for yourself.
DOWNLOAD: Bayonets - The Joke And The Damage Done
'Bayonets' is sold out already. But who knows, maybe Idle Hands will press a few more. Hopefully.