I remember precisely when I discovered The Bats. It was 2005 and I was at KZUU; At The National Grid had recently been released. Like many, it was the first I’d heard from the legendary New Zealand band – it was their first record in ten years. As far as indie pop bands go, The Bats are second to none. Their history goes back to 1981/1982. Legendary indeed.
In 2013 they return with their eighth studio album, Free All the Monsters, as well as a rumored special reissue of early material. Listening to the new album, I’m amazed at how well the band has retained their sound over the years. Undoubtedly catchy jangle pop, their songs are timeless — they’re just as at home today in 2013 as they would have been back in the ’80s. As usual for The Bats, the new album will be on Flying Nun Records.
Their video for “Simpletons”, the second track off Free All the Monsters, can be seen below. It was filmed in the Red Zone in Christchurch, the location of the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that hit New Zealand in 2011. It features images from the event, clad in black and white, and ends up being one of the more emotive tunes you’ll hear from the band (despite still being super catchy and poppy).
I’m really digging the sound they’ve given us on Free All the Monsters. While I have definitely enjoyed The Bats’ previous work, I think this is their strongest and finest collection of songs yet.
The Bats hit the US in late May and all of June for a US tour. Check the dates below for their current northwest and California stops:
6.11.13: Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
6.12.13: Seattle, WA @ Neumos
6.14.13: San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
6.15.13: Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite