Thrash Hits

February 4th, 2010

EP: Bastions – Kingdom of Dogs

Kingdom of Dogs
November 2009

by Hugh Platt

Stop whatever the fuck it is you’re doing, shut your stupid face the fuck up, and go right the fuck now to Bastions webstore. Hand over your credit card details, your parents’ credit card details, your wife’s credit card details – fuck it, run out into the street, beat up the first person you see, steal their wallet, go back to your computer, and then hand over their credit card details – and buy yourself a copy of Kingdom of Dogs.

Although Kingdom of Dogs was orignally released by Bastions late last year, its existence had slipped under our radar until its impending re-release due to high demand. And by the sweet unholy tits of Mother Satan, it’s one of the best things I’ve heard in months. No, this in not hyperbole. Yes, you can still go do one if you’ve got a problem with that.

Even with Kingdom of Dogs being just seven songs in 16 minutes, even now after listening I’m not sure whether I should be laughing, or crying, or expelling one or more of my bodily fluids all over the floor in some kind of dirty protest at just how shit everything else I’ve listened to this week sounds in comparison. There’s a fist-shaped bruise forming on my chest from where I’ve been  involuntarily finding myself beating my chests along in time to frontman Jamie Burn’s throat-scarring breakdown bellows. His cries of “Like the ink in my heart, like the blood in this pen”, punctuate the final moments of ‘Misery King’ with all the terrifying force of a murderer’s butcher-knife being used to perforate a victim’s lungs

The kind of rapid, dischordant hardcore the Welsh four-piece carve from themselves sidesteps obvious hardcore affectations that has echoes of a younger, more bestial DEP. From the thicker, chunkier guitar work in ‘Matriarch’, to the manner in which the record crawls away to die among the howling, despondant chords guitarist Jamie McDonald tears out of his instrument for ‘Heir of the Dog’, there is only one conclusion Kingdom of Dogs can lead you to. This EP will leave you damaged, but the parts of you it leaves behind will be all the stronger for it. 

Watch a sample of ‘Matriarch’ by Bastions

Fuck it, if you still haven’t bought this record yet, send me your home address. The further away you are from me the better. That’ll give me a longer run-up for building the momentum behind my fist, which I’ll be using to smash your idiot ears into a pair of blood-dripping fleshrags.


Sounds like: Go read the review again. This is no time for soundbites.
Top tracks: Misery King, Sea Of Teeth/Bleak Eyes

Bastions – Kingdom of Dogs tracklisting
Crooked Hands
Misery King
Her Casket Holds No Bones
Sea Of Teeth/Bleak Eyes
Heir Of The Dog