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AU59: BATS album review

October 12, 2009

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BATS
RED IN TOOTH AND CLAW
RICHTER COLLECTIVE

BATS flew their Dublin belfry to Salem, Massachusetts to record this torrid clusterbomb of a debut album, and though it would be trite to draw too many conclusions from the place it was recorded, staying at the site of those infamous witch trials can’t have lightened the mood very much. These BATS attack without mercy, their three-guitar attack leading the charge, ably supported by the deranged vocals of Rupert Morris and a rhythm section that’s the very epitome of tight. And shall we mention that it was produced by Kurt Ballou of metalcore legends Converge? This record is not to be fucked with.

All that said, though, Red In Tooth And Claw isn’t as all-out scary as you might imagine. The band’s spastic sound owes as much to the dance-punk of Gang Of Four and latter-day standard bearers like The Rapture as it does to the hardcore and metal traditions, while lyrically, you’re never quite sure how serious Morris is being with his many odes to scientific endeavour. His stated aim is to turn people onto the joy of science, and with an arsenal of sonic bullets like opener ‘Higgs Boson Particle’, he just might manage it. The album reaches its apex with the ass-shaking, dance-metal mayhem of ‘Credulous, Credulous’ and ‘Gamma Ray Burst: Second Date’, as well as the questing ‘Star Wormwood’, which displays a lightness of touch that, if we’re honest, is lacking for much of the rest of the album, the exhausting ‘Lord Blakeney’s Arm’ being a particular culprit. A lie-down is recommended for afterwards, then, but this is a formidable debut.

8/10

DOWNLOAD: ‘CREDULOUS, CREDULOUS’, ‘HIGGS BOSON PARTICLE’, ‘STAR WORMWOOD’.
FOR FANS OF: CHROME HOOF, ASIWYFA, CONVERGE.

(Buy the album from the label right here)

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