Release Date: October 8, 2013
Run Time: 48:40
2. Nothing Left to Lose
3. Maids of the Sea
4. Sink Another
5. Dansez (Dance Hey!)
6. Sore Feet Set
7. Hell of a Day
8. Against Winds and Tides
9. The Ballad of Jonathan Lewis (feat. Marie-Mai)
10. Streets of Montreal
11. The Gnomes Of Grand Ruisseau
12. Here by the Sea
13. Fields of Green (Fiddlers Green / Bodh’aktan)
14. Killing In The Name
Bodh’aktan have released their first English album, Against Winds and Tides. It’s essentially the same album as the 2011 release Au Diable Les Remords, but with a couple of new tracks and covers that’s sure to please the bands English speaking fans.
“The Ballad of Jonathan Lewis” opens with a strong female vocal performance and a story line that is easy to follow. The mix is great, and the instrumentation is stellar. The song dramatically changes with the introduction of the second verse, which is up-tempo and led by male vocals. This verse leads nicely into the chorus, which features powerful group vocals. As the song continues, vocal lines are traded off between different members of the band; the playing is skillful, especially the guitar, which is very tasteful and melodic.
This particular song is great structurally and is very well-written. “Streets of Montreal” follows with a great drum tone; this is an energetic, rambunctious track, again full of great performances. One thing is certain: these precise, professional recordings allow the bands skill and technical abilities to show through easily. This song was particularly very memorable due to the positive repetition of the instrumental hook from beginning to end.
“The Gnome of Grand Ruisseau” continues the established trends from earlier; each of the songs has a happy, amicable mood to them. It is especially refreshing to hear story lines such as these, as they are so very different from anything mainstream on the radio, or really anything that is played here in America. This was the shortest track of the ones I reviewed and was finished before I could blink. The lyrics flow so well together and the production is so brilliant. The instrumental performances were incredibly tight, and the vocals were right on point.
“Here by the Sea” noted life during the changing of the seasons towards the cold-weather months in a small village by the water. This was the most repeatable song of the bunch for me personally, especially on this cold day in November. The song’s melody is intriguing and seems cliche at first, but changes almost immediately to something unexpected and new.
“Here by the Sea” contained a sort of comedic, humorous side to it, and led into the group’s cover of the Rage Against the Machine classic “Killing in the Name.” A band that covers a song as large as this by a band as legendary as this has courage; a band that does this, and makes the song truly their own, has even more courage.
The drums groove well, and each instrument showcases good tone and technicality, especially the violin. Lastly, the vocals are more spoken than sung; while this is similar to the original version, it is still different because of the obvious variations between this vocalist and RATM vocalist Zack de la Rocha.
“Fields of Green” closes the album nicely with a positive, uplifting, and encouraging message. This, in my opinion, was the most accessible track for a wide variety of audiences, and thus, one of their more marketable songs.
The song’s highlight comes at the bridge, which features gang vocals and continued excellent instrument performances. This song is again structured very well, just as many of the others were. Listeners will definitely be looking forward to more from this band after hearing “Against Winds & Tides.”