Friday, October 3, 2008

We Can't Stop Here; This is BATS Country!

BATS - Cruel Sea Scientist


Fuck you Kent
You’re fucking dangerous
And bats will destroy you
And bats will destroy you

Hey, quick question. Does Kent Hovind think Bats are birds or mammals?

(/yes, that’s kind of relevant.)

To answer Question #1 on your mind: Bats are a heavily progressive five-piece post-hardcore group from Ireland that blends all kinds of influences into their approach, from post-punk to metal. Offbeat and somewhat insane, the end result is a catchy and anthemic collection of songs that are both crushingly heavy and highly accessible. In late 2007, and again in early 2008 through the Richter Collective, they released their debut EP Cruel Sea Scientist.

Creationist Fun Fact: Did you know that Kent Hovind is currently serving a ten year prison sentence for tax-related crimes? He wasn't just convicted of one offense, mind you - he was convicted of 58!

The EP begins with a bang; the chants and screams of "Death to Kent Hovind" provide the listener with an infectious kind of revulsion, and introduces the listener to a main theme of the album: that is, that the group is heavily interested in biology and as such, have developed a very noticeable anti-Creationist agenda. From their myspace:

Formed in the early part of the Pliocene age by complex molecules, BATS (featuring ex-members of Martha Washington) have spent millions of years developing their sound from a series of intermittent bleeps to the sexy sonic bullets they create today. 4 out of 5 BATS hail from Ireland's alpha-smoke- Dublin, while the other crawled his way on bloody knuckles out of the haunted town of Carbury, Kildare in the mid 1600's. In early 2007 BATS began peddling their love around the island and have since played support to such acts as Gang Gang Dance, Down I Go, Horse the Band, Sebadoh, The Locust and Liars. December 2007 sees the release on independent label Armed Ambitions of their debut EP entitled 'Cruel Sea Scientist' and the frightening of some smaller children. Strong supporters of the Earth to space elevator and strong opposers of the plan to strip-mine the moon for Helium 3, BATS strive to disperse their audio seed into the ears and minds of as many receptive humans as possible. They do so with valiant gusto and in the face of a limited gene pool. A product of Natural Selection, a constant source of erection. BATS.

So, um, yeah. They're kind of dorks. But that's not important. What's important is the skill and precision with which these guys play, as well as their talent for creating versatile and highly enjoyable hardcore songs. The guitar work is varied tremendously between creating intricately catchy, jazzy rhythms, as seen in the opening of "These Ones Lay Eggs", and dense, metal-influenced audio suffocation that combines the strength of all four guitars into one throttling package. Equally impressive is the way they change back and forth between the two extremes; the transitions are both seamless and numerous. Using the previous example from "These Ones Lay Eggs", the song shows the band adding new chords and guitars as its original catchy riff chugs along, only to swerve into heavier territory and back again as singer Rupert Morris sings along in a falsetto as a collective arpeggio swirls around him. The song structures the band employs are often just as complex, never resting on a simple display of verse-chorus-repeat. It's rare that this kind of imagination and desire to experiment beyond the traditional hardcore landscape can be used so thrillingly, and with so little caution thrown to the wind.

Creationist Fun Fact: Fossil evidence? Not as empirical as you think!

Another enjoyable part of the band is the way vocals are used. Morris' vocals in many ways reflect the duality of the music that surrounds him, going from an almost sarcastic speaking voice delivery to ear-deafening screams that conjure up a surprising amount of intensity given the playful nature of the band. With lyrics like "I USED MY LASER VISION; I USED MY MICROSCOPE" you wouldn't expect a very serious tone, but Morris carries himself in a way where he communicates the message while still retaining a sense of gravity, wry though it may be.

BTW, does Kent Hovind have laser vision? Advantage: BATS

Creationist Fun Fact: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien are Satanists. No, really.

With their debut EP, BATS create a surprisingly original and gripping collection of songs. Taking influence from hardcore, post-punk and metal alike, and infusing them with a jazzy and spastic style of song-writing. The band never takes itself too seriously, without suggesting that we shouldn't either; indeed, it's hard not to be drawn in by this debut, with all the promise it suggests. The only disappointment is that at only 16 minutes long, it's bound to leave the listener hungry for more.

(thanks to Gabba at Hardcore for Nerds for originally linking me to this)

the facts will destroy you
and BATS will destroy you


gabbagabbahey said...

hey, cool post!

you seem to know more about the band than I do, or at least that the singer's surname is Morris. was wondering who the hell you were talking about until I checked back in to the text... I think in time-honoured musical tradition he's more generally known as Rupert Bats, which has quite a nice ring to it.

but yeah, great post. good job describing the band.

cretin said...

rupert bats sounds like a wacky next-door neighbour from a british sitcom. fyi, I would totally watch that show. his quarrels with special guest star john cleese as the uptight professor who just moved into the building would be legendary. rupert would be playing his bongo drums at 3 in the morning, and john cleese would be all "I'm trying to sleep" and rupert would be all new-age and shit, like how you can't own a bongo man, maybe it's the bongo who owns you had that ever occurred to you? and john cleese would give one of those really condescending looks and the audience would laugh and clap and cheer as both characters paused in twisted facial arrangements as the show would go to commercial.

my mind wanders some times. I find it best just to let it go and arrange dinner plans upon which I will catch up to it later. we make good time that way.

gabbagabbahey said...

wow, you're the second blogger to come up with TV show ideas about Irish bands: (2nd proposal)

cretin said...

as far as special guest stars go, john cleese > fight like apes

I have drawn my line in the sand, and I am sticking to it.

gabbagabbahey said...

I'm all for lines in the sand, though not really, but check out this photo set of the Apes gig, particularly the end:

sort of looks like John Cleese/Basil Fawlty went mental at it.