Russell Baillie

Russell Baillie is the Herald’s entertainment editor

Album Review: The Bats, Free All the Monsters

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The Bats. Photo / Supplied
The Bats. Photo / Supplied

The Bats' previous two albums (2005's National Grid and 2009's The Guilty Office) went largely unnoticed but this one arrives with a tailwind. The mainland veterans have been chaperoning the label's youngsters during the current Flying Nun 30th anniversary gigs. And this comes after singer-guitarist Robert Scott's 2010 beautifully realised solo album Ends Run Together with producer Dale Cotton. Cotton is on the buttons here too, seemingly laminating vast layers of melody throughout and adding extra spangle to the jangle.

Between the hazy guitars and splashy drums of opener Long Halls and the acoustic afterthought of Getting Over You which ends this 11 tracks later, is possibly the Bats' most captivating set of songs. Among the best is the title track with its dreamy chorus of plaintive harmonies by Scott and co-guitarist Kaye Woodward giving way to a gently searing hook of a guitar line. And that's but one magic moment of revitalised southern folk-rock among many.

Stars: 4/5


- NZ Herald

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