The Bats: Formed in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1982 by Robert Scott, bassist for the massively influential band The Clean, as an outlet for his songs when he thought The Clean had split for good. He became guitarist and prime vocalist, while ex-Toy Love member Paul Kean took on bass. Malcolm Grant became drummer and guitarist Kaye Woodward (Minisnap) provided the gleaming harmony vocals would come to be a defining presence in the band. Signing to New Zealand's hottest indie label of the era, Flying Nun, The Bats went on to release three EP’s, seven albums and two compilations as well as numerous singles and videos. The Bats have amassed plenty of fans close to home and afar, particularly in USA.
The Sound: What is it about The Bats that we all know and love? Is it the fragile but determined vocals, the ringing psychedelic guitar jangle or the chunky rhythms that seem quintessentially “New Zealand Indie”; remote, cool, spacious, unusual but strangely familiar? Or is it the oddly melancholic yet optimistic, distant but touching sound? Whatever it is, alongside a select group of other Kiwi rock & pop bands, The Bats have a unique sound that has captured the imagination of multitudes.
The Album: For their seventh studio album The Bats continue to refine and develop their own idiosyncratic path, whilst also adding fresh sparkle and new ideas. The strings and additional instruments come to the fore, such as on the first single “Castle Lights”, and Robert Scott’s songwriting has become particularly strong on tracks such as “Countersign” and “Crimson Enemy”. The band have come up with an album that shines among their best.
The Review: "It's hard to go wrong with the Bats. For more than two decades, this New Zealand foursome have been a stunning model of consistency, with their albums serving as prime examples of that much-loved kiwi pop jangle. And The Guilty Office is no exception... Just the Bats sounding as great as ever." Exclaim Magazine :: February 2009