Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Bats - Fear of God

Perhaps no other band conveys comfort and familiarity while simultaneously taking the listener to dark, unexplored areas as in the manner of The Bats. Their shimmering, infectious melodies and brightly chiming guitar sound is reminiscent of American college rockers R.E.M., 10,000 Maniacs, and Miracle Legion, although they have not garnered the international cult following on the level of many of their peers. Yet The Bats remain New Zealand's grandest export, representing the best of "kiwi-rock" and the defining Flying Nun moment.

The Bats came together in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1982. The unit was essentially thrown together by Robert Scott, former bassist for the massively influential The Clean, as an outlet for his own songs. He became lead guitarist and prime vocalist, while ex-Toy Love member Paul Kean took on bass and Malcom Grant became drummer. The lineup was complete with guitarist Kaye Woodward, who's gleaming harmony vocals would come to be a defining presence in the band.

Fear of God (1991, Flying Nun), couldn't have been better. It showcased their foggy brightness coming to a point of solid maturity. The songs were varying, from the breezy "Boogey Man" to the strangely dark "Fear of God". The Bats were not only something utterly original, but clearly one of the most creative bands to emerge in recent times.


L said...

Thanks so much for this - I'm eager to listen to it. I agree, they deserve much more recognition. They are first-rate; beautifully crafted tunes.

Filtch said...

Please don't download music (especially The Bats music) for free. It cost bugger all to share in the cost of recording and supporting the band in their creative career through buying their songs or albums. Go to to find out other ways to get good quality legitimate copies of their music where you become partners with the band and you don't live with the guilt of filtching it.