BATS
Cruel Sea Scientist


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dr Dave De Sylvia STAFF
May 28th, 2008 | 20 replies | 13,539 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A bulky yet malleable sound that can turn on a hatpin from blistering punk rock to smooth, jazzy post-rock, and from taut, melodic dance rock to brutish mosh metal.

There’s a funny thing about the name Bats. You’d think there’d be more bands with that name. But there are not. It’s also only like three letters away from batshit, which is a pretty good description of the one true Bats- a five-winged alternative hardcore creation with day jobs, sensible haircuts and strong opinions on the evolution. Oh, and a rather ripping debut EP entitled Cruel Sea Scientist.

Released on the fledgling Armed Ambitions/Organised Ideas label, which also boasts acclaimed breakcore artist Herv and post-everything act Adebisi Shanks among its ranks, Cruel Sea Scientists is the group’s first release since getting together early last year. The presence of three guitarists and bassist Timmy Moran provide the group with a bulky yet malleable sound that can turn on a hatpin from blistering punk rock to smooth, jazzy post-rock, and from taut, melodic dance rock to brutish mosh metal. Singer Rupert Morris, who also comprises one-quarter of Bats’ multi-pronged guitar attack, remains arguably the group’s main focal point, his versatile range extending from nervy tenor to comic falsetto to a strained shriek reminiscent either of Circle Takes The Square’s Drew Speziale or Sesame Street’s Grover. Take your pick, honestly.

The five-track (or four-movement) EP opens with the wonderfully reserved ‘Kent Hovind Must Die,’ a no-holds-barred assault on the unfortunate figurehead of Young Earth Creationism. Clocking in at just over a minute and a half, it begins with the band members trading nondescript screams before resolving to a doomy heavy metal verse. The chorus is reminiscent of Mike Patton’s most famous admirers Dog Fashion Disco, a fairly good allegory for the band as a whole, as it happens. Richly embellished though it is, were it broken down ‘Death To Kent Hovind’ would make a pretty awesome hardcore song, packed full of infectious gang melodies and vitriolic sentiments, as Morris directs his frankly unnecessary, but also quite hilarious, bile toward the 58-time felon: “Fuck you Kent / You’re fucking dangerous / And Bats will destroy you.”

‘Death To Kent Hovind,’ though a mere snapshot of the group’s capabilities, is typical of the approach Bats take throughout the EP. Structurally, the tracks are relatively simple and straightforward, but through a wide diffusion of styles and not inconsiderable instrumental prowess, they confer upon the songs a personality and vitality all of their own. ‘These Ones Lay Eggs’ and ‘Husband & Wife (Sliced Lung, Served Cold’) expand the blueprint, the former opening with a razor-sharp jazzy guitar motif reminiscent of the Redneck Manifesto before becoming gradually heavier and more disparate. Closer ‘Atom & Eve’ exhibits the same tendencies with a more poppy disposition and yet more lyrics about evolution: “I used my laser vision / I used my microscope / And now we’ve beat selection for better or for worse.”

At less than sixteen minutes, Cruel Sea Scientist is just a smidge unsatisfying, if only because it begs to last longer. Question marks remain over the group’s originality: both instruments and vocals sound a little too imitative of their influences at some points, whether it’s the Blood Brothers-like call-and-response routine and funky hardcore riffs, the Todd Smith-like spoken passages, but these inconsistencies will surely be ironed out over time and Cruel Sea Scientist will be remembered as a rough but eminently replayable slice of premium musicosity.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SHOOTME
May 28th 2008



2393 Comments


Again, very nice review.

astrel
May 28th 2008



2614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this band kicks ass.

timothyzha
May 29th 2008



23 Comments


i want this. very badly.

foreverendeared
June 7th 2008



14678 Comments


punk is one of only two genres i can't really get in to. my loss though

Helllord
June 8th 2008



5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cool band)

flamethisuser
July 29th 2008



395 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i can't get 'death to kent hovind' out of my head. i'm at the point where i'll yell "you're fucking dangerous and bats will destroy you" to random people on the street.

can't wait for the full-length.

KritikalMotion
November 2nd 2008



2261 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pretty interesting stuff. enjoyable very muchly.This Message Edited On 11.02.08

natey
November 2nd 2008



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I really like what they do.

PatchworkNeurology
November 10th 2008



352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wozers. This is putting some pep in my step.

handoman
January 9th 2009



2386 Comments


this is awesome awesome stuff

gaslightanthem
February 24th 2009



5209 Comments


So this is pretty great, looking forward to a full length.

windpromoteshate
April 19th 2009



179 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Most of the screams make me want to shoot myself in the face. Other than that this is pretty good, first song especially.

windpromoteshate
April 19th 2009



179 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ok, so I got over myself. The vocals are fine. Kurt Ballou producing the new album is really exciting.

JacobsLadder
July 30th 2009



554 Comments


AND BATS WILL DESTROY YOU!!! Awesome EP.

MentalityOfA
August 5th 2009



1213 Comments


16 minutes?!

sexualsoybean
August 7th 2009



911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

EP owns my face, cant wait for the album

IRAI
August 17th 2009



1567 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this stuff is great.

Lokudon
September 2nd 2009



17 Comments


2 minutes into These Ones Lay Eggs = James Bond.
Sick album btw

Phantom
September 2nd 2009



8930 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i want their full length

benerooni
October 9th 2009



123 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

man i love that james bond part lol



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