Review Summary: BATS will destroy you, and you'll fucking love it.
BATS is a band that most people on Sputnik are familiar with, but beyond that they're pretty unknown. And that's a damn shame. Cruel Sea Scientist
is their debut EP consisting of 5 tracks of balls out aggressive and in your face post-hardcore that you won't soon forget. In comparison to their full-length [i]Red In Tooth & Claw[i], CSS is heavier, more raw, and even has some psychedelic tendencies at moments.
BATS is most unique in the respect that their lyrics and and songs are structured around their strongly held beliefs on creationism, evolution, and their propensity for science. This is most obvious on the opener "Death To Kent Hovind", a scathing attack on, er, Kent Hovind, figurehead of Young Earth Creationism. Beyond the ridiculously over the top lyrical assault the band delivers, the music here is the real highlight. The song switches from dissonant chord shifting to a decent breakdown in the vein of a death metal band and then finishes up the deal with the band members trading off screams of "BATS will destroy you!"
The aforementioned psychedelia that BATS dabbles in on CSS is prevalent on second track "These Ones Lay Eggs." Vocals take the back seat initially for some nifty little cowbell work, tremolo guitar picking, and a silky smooth bass solo. This all builds together into some of the most impressive instrumentals the band has ever recorded. About halfway through the track makes a 180 turn and slows down with some subdued riffing and falsetto vocals that I'm not sure whether to laugh at or not. Either way, its damn good.
"Husband and Wife" and "Atom and Eve" showcase the poppier side of the band, and for a band that plays predominantly post-hardcore, it works rather well. "Atom and Eve" is a choice track with some great lyrics based on evolution. Religious zealots might be better suited to stay away. The clean singing really shines on these tracks, but is once again outshined by the fantastic multi-faceted guitar playing. That's not to say that the vocals aren't great, but I personally tended to focus more on the instrumentation.
As a mere 5 tracks, "Cruel Sea Scientist" is an unfortunately diminutive EP that will leave you thirsting for more crazy ass guitars, science based lyrics, and attacks on creationism. But that doesn't stop it from being the crowning jewel of 2008's post hardcore scene. Pick it up now, and lets BATS destroy you.