The post-punk-electronic sound of new Southend based artist BAIT is an assault on the senses. It’s intentional I think, it’s meant to strike with force when you listen.
Opening track ‘Must Meditate’ does exactly that with its no holds barred industrial wallop, a fearless introduction. ‘Push The Elephant’, out now as a single, is a strong song full of energy and beats with an infectious title chorus that grows on you like a fungus. My favourite track is ‘Hate One Another Love Yourselfie’, slightly quieter than the rest of the sound on this album; I love its nod to 90s dance beats and its subtlety. It felt a lot more intimate than the other tracks which was an interesting turn. Other titles on the album slide into heavy rock, hardcore punk territory matching the force and pace of the opener which will delight fans of this genre.
I can imagine hearing some of these on the soundtrack to an indie horror film, because – dare I say it – there is an element of the horror movie to BAIT. There’s an unsettling quality when you listen that both thrills you and plays on your fears, in the same way an effective horror does. It’s horror rock and roll punk demanding your attention. Elsewhere on the album, ‘I’m Still Here’ is a brilliant track reminding me of PiL and The Prodigy rolled into one, a definite live hit. Closing song ‘As Far As The Rope Goes’ is a grower; the contradiction of heavy vocals set against 80s synthpop beats is a clever idea. What I love on this record the most though is the Sleaford Mods type lyrics with their humour and slight surrealism (“Janet Street Porter!” chants on ‘Greatest of the Teeth’).
I’m clutching at reviewers’ straws with the loose comparisons here though, because BAIT really doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve heard in a while. It’s abstract, it’s dynamic and it’s passionate which is refreshing in the sometimes stale and homogenised music industry we’re living with. We don’t know much about who BAIT is at the moment as the debut album isn’t out until later this month and the artist himself has kept things quite cryptic. But it’s definitely the start of an exciting dissection of sound, of music, performance and art.
Review by Jo Overfield
BAIT is released on Cool Thing Records on 17th March.
Listen to ‘Push The Elephant’: