On a late summer’s night in 2005 – I think, I got separated from my friends at that years Reading festival. I wondered into a tent just before this band’s set and it didn’t take long before I knew whatever my friends were watching, it wasn’t as good as this. Battle had a brief existence, releasing only two albums.
Break the Banks – their second album, sits on the periphery of post-punk, with guitars so spacious you could swing a cat between every note, and dance beats on par with Bloc Party. Even though this album has a hallmark sound of the mid 2000s, it still holds its own nearly a decade later. If you are under the belief that bands like Bastille are paving the way for indie/post-punk in the noughties, Battle were doing it first. Yes, this sound, like many others, has been rehashed over and over, every decade since the early 80’s with the likes of Joy Division, Talking Heads, etc. However as a fan of revivals, as long as they bring something new to the style and do not stand only to rip off, I have a lot of time for this release.
If I had to describe this album in one word it would be clarity. Each individual instrument has its place, there is no bleeding of sound; the mastering engineer earned their money. The sub bass and drums that open the intro track, The Longest Time, rumble down the spine like your first orgasm – played through decent speakers, of course. The lyrics are catchy and remain that way through out the album. Demons is another stand out track of Bloc Party-esq, indie/dance vibes and is a fine example of lead singer, Jason Bavanandan’s ability as a vocalist and lyricist.
It is a shame that this band had such a short career, but I will always remember that lonely night in a tent at Reading Festival as one of my all time festival experiences. Both releases are available on iTunes, and if you are looking for a similar band around today then I recommend Coasts; their album is due for release in January 2016.