Maybe more recognised for its metal diversity and prowess, over the years we have found that the Polish independent music scene breeds some rather fine propositions within other musical flavours. The latest to come to our attention is the noise rock fuelled alternative rock of Bastard Disco and particularly their new album, China Shipping. Across nine ear grabbing tracks, the Warsaw quartet’s sophomore full-length is a magnetic affair as raw and hungry as it is melodically seductive; one of those encounters you cannot help taking real notice of.
Formed in 2015, Bastard Disco finds inspiration in the likes of Fugazi, Quicksand, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, and The Pixies for their own individual sound. 2017 saw the well-received release of debut album Warsaw Wasted Youth via Poland’s oldest independent label, Antena Krzyku. The band has united with the label once again for China Shipping, a release swiftly engaging ears with opener Sophia. The coaxing grooves of guitarist Kamil Fejfer lay down a potent lure, the accompanying grumble of Paweł Cholewa’s bass and the swinging beats of Marek Kamiński soon eagerly accentuating the early temptation. As vocalist Yuri Kasianenko’s melodic tones join the captivation, the track almost haunts the imagination, its hooks and quickly established enterprise proving very easy to devour.
Future Crimes follows, opening with the great dirty growl of Cholewa’s bass before contrasting its grumble with the melodic jangle of guitar. As with its predecessor, familiar essences collude with bold fresh endeavour to create an individual character and presence; its melodic and harmonic boisterousness adding to that distinctiveness. There is a sonic mugginess to song and sound too which similarly just lured ears in and though maybe missing the striking hooks of the opener, the track effortlessly held court before Time Traveller offered up its own humid noise cultured breath. Something akin to Dinosaur Jr meets Big Black the song proved increasingly compelling and contagious as it nagged an already eagerly involved appetite.
Next up is Clear!, a slice of scuzzy indie rock with punk voracity to its infectious holler. Its highly potent persuasion soon matched by that crafted by the outstanding Shining Confidence. The track was pure fascination, its melodic seduction and sultry climate a mesmeric setting for the track’s devilish groove spun chorus. It is another with familiar elements but never proved anything but unique to Bastard Disco while Ministry of Self-Defence emulated that originality straight after with its own sonically dissonant bounce and confrontation. Ferocious yet melodically seductive, feral but craftily conjured, the track provides another particularly compelling highlight before Game of Patriots stole the show. Its first breaths bring the hypnotic coaxing of Kamiński’s beats, every subsequent one exposing his manipulative dexterity as the equally nefariously antics of bass and guitar just enforce the track’s virulence. Kasianenko is just as magnetic alongside their tenacious enterprise, providing further impassioned flaming to the song’s fiery eruptions.
The closing pair of Sink or Swim and B-side Son ensure China Shipping leaves as potently as it arrives, the first enjoying the union of a grumble dark rhythmic incitement and scuzz lined melodic intimation around the perpetually tempting vocals of Kasianenko. The final track is all spirited bounce and creative contagion beneath vocal and emotive energy; a rousing memorable finale to an equally stirring release rather easy to highly recommend.
China Shipping is out now via Antena Krzyku; available digitally @ https://bastarddisco.bandcamp.com/album/china-shipping and on CD/LP through http://www.antenakrzyku.pl/en/shop/bastard-disco-china-shipping-lpdownload-preorder-release-date-030519-kopia/
Pete RingMaster 21/05/2019
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