Review Revue: The Bats - Fear of God

Review Revue
Levi Fuller

Welcome to Review Revue, where every Thursday I dig through the KEXP stacks to share DJ reviews and comments written on the covers of LPs (and occasionally CDs) in the ’80s and ’90s, when the station was called KCMU, the DJs were volunteers, and people shared their opinions on little white labels instead of the internet.

This week's installment is a celebration of longevity. Not only are Christchurch, NZ's The Bats still a band, with their original lineup; not only did they just release their ninth album last year; but that album was released on Flying Nun, the label they started off with over 30 years ago, which is still (or again?) going strong all these decades later. That's my kinda commitment and consistency. Great work everybody! The Bats and some of their other countryfolk - such as the Verlaines and Sneaky Feelings, which I've covered here before - managed to make a huge impression around the world from their outpost on the other side of the world - at least with opinionated weirdos at places like KCMU. It's quite gratifying to see them still at it.

"Very, very good."

"Kind bland with cheap harmonies."

"All I've heard is rock and New Zealand purity!"

"I repeat - not a bad track here!"

"A big Fonzie thumbs up, with the 'Hey Hey Hey,' of course."

"Fat Albert said, 'Hey hey hey.' Fonzie said, "Aaaayyy!'" [My thoughts exactly!]

"He also sexually harrassed Joanie according to the latest Enquirer (or is it Star?)"

"As usual, rather nice. Bright Pop with lots hooks + energy to burn. Favs 2-1, 2-[?], 2-5, but it's all good."

"Reminds me of the Walkabouts."

"Kind of remind me of a mellow Wedding Present! This sounds good, many different sounds. With an album cover like this you can't go wrong! Yeah they're from New Zealand!"

"Wonderful and engaging. Not as wistful as The Law of Things, which is both good and bad, I suppose. The cover art is hideous. A definite H."

"These folks just don't move me as much as the Chills or the J-PS Experience. Okay stuff, not enough of an 'edge' for me tho, I guess."

"True, but it moves me far more than the Monkey Wrench or the Master Musicians of Joujouika - or Ian McCulloch."

"Try 2-2. It's the best cut and it sounds so much like the Walkabouts. (2-4 also cool.)"

"I'm with Kathy. A nice formula they use, but only one record was vital."

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