Bastard North – Battle Ready (2019)

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This is an excerpt from Bastard Norths biography;

“Does your vinyl collection consist of Rock, Classic Rock, Rock, Rock and Roll, Rock and Punk? Do you reckon all the kids are doing it wrong, t-shirts should be black, shoes should be Connies, beards are tops, double denim & a comb-over is a legitimate fashion choice, no bar is better than The Tote and that the man still needs sticking it to?”

I thought that was an excellent way to sum up the band, after listening to their latest EP, Battle Ready.

Through opening track, Fire it Up, Bastard Nörth make their intentions clear.  They are here to make loud and obnoxious rock n roll – and that’s just what they do.  The sound presented in that of Motörhead by way of Cosmic Psychos.  It’s in your face, unrelenting and quite frankly, grouse!

Second track, Frontman, is fast paced rock, with more than just a hint of punk.  Bold and brash, with an “us against the world” feel.  It’s raw and has a very distinct diy appeal.  This track could have benefitted from bringing the bass guitar up in the mix, and giving it a bit of a rumble.

She’s A Creep makes me think of Danzig fronted Misfits.  There’s some great lead guitar work in this track, and the vocal style used is very different, but suits extremely well.  It’s just straight forward rock n roll, no bells or whistles, and sometimes that’s all you need.

The title track, Battle Ready, features that rumbling bass that I was looking for earlier.  Frantic and furious are the words that spring to mind here.  A highlight of the EP for me.

Monsters lets the bass be prominent once again, backed by some great drum beats, and guitars that really cut through and work their way to the top.  Fast paced, and a little eccentric.  I dig it!

Closing track, The Wrong Band, sounds like The Angels on steroids.  It’s a pub rock anthem with a heavy metal spin.  Honky tonk piano and some saxophone give this track a real edge, and help to make it stand apart.  It becomes completely unhinged towards the end, letting loose for a big climax.  They say “you just fucked with the wrong band”, but I think I just listened to the right band!

This EP is energetic and fun to say the least, but what I really want, is to see these songs live in a dark basement bar, where beer is flowing freely, because that’s the way this music should be heard.

7/10

Shayne McGowan.

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