[Our Auckland correspondent updates us on Saturday’s visitors:]
The much-loved Bats are often taken for granted in their native New Zealand: They’ve been part of the musical furniture in this country for nigh on 30 years, playing their idiosyncratic brand of electric folk-rock over the course of eight quietly influential albums. Away from home, that influence is strong; they’re currently on their sixth American tour. Formed by Robert Scott after the dissolution of Flying Nun legends The Clean in the early ’80s, the band still features the original lineup of Scott, Kaye Woodward’s lead guitar, Paul Kean on bass and drummer Malcolm Grant. The Bats are associated with the Dunedin Sound but are actually from the more northern city of Christchurch, which might explain the slightly sunnier, pastoral feel that seeps into their music. A phrase coined by the late John Peel when referring to The Fall applies here: the more they change, the more they sound the same. From their rudimentary lo-fi 1984 debut EP “By Night” (recently remastered) to what is possibly their finest full length effort in 2012’s “Free All the Monsters,” the common threads are delicate distant vocals, wonky psychedelia, upbeat melodies with a shadowy darkness of theme and vibrant live recording. Scott doesn’t over-analyze the genesis of the songs – his angle is there is no angle: The songs are written, the players develop and mature as the years go by, and what you hear at any given point in time is the essence of The Bats.
||| Download: “Free All The Monsters”
||| Live: The Bats play June 15 at The Satellite.
||| Also: After the jump, stream the remastered “By Night EP”