Monday, October 03, 2005

No Hits 10.3.05

Bells (mp3) - The Bats

Of the great New Zealand bands that emerged in the 80s, The Bats were the pop-folk branch of the family, with probably the least complicated, most direct songs. Formed by Robert Scott in 1983 after he departed The Clean, The Bats have put out some quiet gems over the years--Daddy's Highway, The Law of Things, Silverbeet--to critical acclaim but little fanfare outside the cloistered world of New Zealand indie rock. Last month they released their first album in 10 (!) years, At the National Grid, with the same four-person lineup with which they started 22 years ago.

To the uninitiated. Scott's nasal vocal delivery may be offputting. In fact, I imagine some people can't get past it (fair enough, I've never been a Flaming Lips fan because I just can't get over Wayne Coyne's grating voice). But Bats tunes almost always reward the patient listener. The formula is simple: Gentle, melodic acoustic and electric guitar lines, simple harmonies (Kaye Woodward's backing vocals have always been a huge asset) and that bubbling, buoyant bass that's a major throughline to many Flying Nun bands. The new melancholy single "Bells" is decent, though it probably doesn't rank as one of their best. Nevertheless, it's good to have these veterans back.

These are some of The Bats' best:

Law of Things (mp3) - The Bats

Love Floats Two (mp3) - The Bats

Offside (mp3) - The Bats

If you're new to the band and want to know where to start, I strongly recommend picking up Compiletely Bats, a collection of their early EPs.


Anonymous arne said...

the new album is so great. i bought it while i was over in the us last week - i don't think it's out in europe just yet. to me it's slightly more psychedelic sounding than previous bats work (psychedelic in a yo la tengo meet "eight mile high" meets velvet underground sort of way)

5:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a cracker somewhere between "daddys highway" - their first and "couchmaster" their last.

Its mostly mellow, a real grower has such nice nuances. Its somewhere between Yo La Tango, Galaxie 500, Bedhead type ball park but a bit poppier, maybe older Go bEtweens stuff, maybe not.
ok there you go check it our

5:56 PM  

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