Irish progressive clan BATS have really created a weird and wonderful introduction to the world with their debut offering, Red In Tooth and Claw. They have every right to capitalise their name – their sound mirrors its bluntness.
It’s so hard to pinpoint the noise the band makes; a mass pile up involving System of a Down, HORSE The Band, and Twin Atlantic barely starts to describe the kind of tunes that erupt from the five-piece’s weapons of choice.
Red In Tooth and Claw is eleven tracks of weird and wonderful; heavy, soft, its constant tempo changes, displayed prominently in the strangely haunting Andrew Wiles give a real sense of control for something sounding so random to the untrained ear.
The band let out flourishes of a more down-to-earth sounding prog-metal in places; BATS Spelled Backwards is STAB and the catchily bouncy bump of Vemithrax Pejorative being the real stand-out tracks of the album, the latter containing some brilliant lead guitar work that borders on beautiful. Moshworthy in places, simply baffling vocal talents in others, It’s an interesting group of songs; maybe too interesting for someone used to knowing what they’re getting with their music.
What seperates this record from the other new wave of noisecore bands (see Tubelord, Blakfish, Rolo Tomassi, Dananananaykroyd for those uneducated) is that this album is still pretty listenable. It catches the senses, and twinges the ears for it’s whole 45-odd minutes, and definitely keeps a listener interested.
For anyone who loves to dab in the weird and wonderful, or simply enjoys some great musicianship, you may of found your new perfect record. For those who find it all just a little confusing, you may want to stay clear, and look elsewhere. BATS have most certainly put out a great effort, but it’s definitely not quite everyones cup of tea yet.
BATS will be touring the UK and Ireland in Septmber, and will release their album on September 7th though Plastic Head Distribution, for more information, visit the band’s official MySpace here.