BATS
The Sleep of Reason


4.0
excellent

Review

by Eli EMERITUS
October 23rd, 2012 | 62 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Although it stands as The Richter Collective's swan song, BATS' "The Sleep of Reason" is a powerful and engaging work that deserves to be celebrated.

At this point in their career, BATS could do just about anything they’d like. Their debut album, Red in Tooth and Claw, lent itself to a myriad of interpretations; both a serious and reflective experiment as well as a fun and indulgent foray into post-something. The record was bold to say the least, and deceptively simplistic. It was gimmicky, sure, what with all the hullabaloo surrounding the scientific themes and weird mish-mash of influences. Yet despite all this it was a success, prompting much agony over the wait for their next outing. After three years, the Irish musical outfit has returned with The Sleep of Reason, giving fans more of the same exciting and engaging stuff that comprised their debut.

When “Wolfwrangler” opens up at the album’s outset, it becomes immediately apparent that this is a BATS record through and through. The complex intertwining guitars and unpredictable time signatures give it all away, and this familiarity is only compounded when the delicious poppy hooks enter in. BATS make it all seem so effortless though, despite the chaos surrounding it all. What separates the band from their peers are moments like these, added to the beautiful delivery. It’s all so polished and so clean as well, with every moment coming off as crisp and succinct. Whereas some post-hardcore/punk acts like to lean towards a messier, more disorganized sound, it’s nice to hear a band that wishes to make every note perfect.

A big desire for those who fell in love with the band back in 2009 is for the band to retain their identity. With Red in Tooth and Claw, BATS played with themes such as evolution, physics, and science fiction. Heavy stuff, but thanks to some incredibly clever writing, it came off as natural and interesting, rather than contrived and pretentious. The Sleep of Reason continues this trend, albeit with much less subtlety. The pitfalls they so deftly avoided sort of catch them this time around. With “Gamma Ray Burst: Second Date,” as well as other selections, it wasn’t so obvious what the context was, causing listeners to pay extra close attention to arrive at their own conclusion. This time around, the scathing criticism found on “Stem Cells” and “Astonomy Astrology” is so blatantly stated that it comes off as unrefined and somewhat childish. The “in-your-face” approach works for some, but it’s a bit disappointing to see this intelligent band lose a bit of their tongue-in-cheek delivery.

That being said, BATS have upped their game in literally every other regard. The band sounds so much more focused this time around. The silly and fun instrumental wankery is much more tasteful, and feels like a necessary part of the entire work. Vocally, the mix of clean singing and raspy screams are as awesome as ever, with the former being much more prevalent. The songs themselves feature less filler overall, with the album as a whole feeling superbly well written. Each song is much more thought out giving The Sleep of Reason one hell of a killer set of songs. It’s difficult to pick a standout track due to each having its own palpable energy. Whether it is the heavy and quirky “Heat Death,” or the absolutely epic title track, there really isn’t a bad moment to be found.

Admittedly, three years isn’t much of a wait at all, but that just goes to show the promise that the young band displayed. Thankfully, BATS don’t rest on their laurels, offering up an immensely engaging record that tops their debut in almost every facet. The Sleep of Reason is one of the most fully realized records of the year; a mature and exciting piece of work from a band that is effortlessly making a name for themselves.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 23rd 2012


10614 Comments


Definitely will be high up on my AOTY list.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2012


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah. It'll make my top20 for sure.

Digging: Dope Body - Lifer

Havey
October 23rd 2012


9701 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Been listening to this all day sweet I overrated it hard but it's ok because I'm gonna chill to some Acid Mothers Temple now fuck yes

FelixCulpa
October 23rd 2012


1240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Great review Eli. I guess the more "in your face" approace of the lyrics don't bother me so much but I'd still say there are subtleties to be found in the lyrics for sure. For example the creative way of spelling out "Collagen" in Terrible Lizards.

marksellsuswallets
October 23rd 2012


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't really thing the altered lyrical approach really loses anything. The tongue in cheek lyrics of the last album fit with the more mocking/playful vibe and this one doesn't really have that same feel.

Bloodhail
October 24th 2012


1144 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah this is growing on me

NonApplicable
October 24th 2012


1989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My only knocks against the album are the vocalist's technical ability(serviceable, but could use
improvement) and how shallow most of the record feels.

Still one of the best things I've heard all year.

sexualsoybean
October 24th 2012


911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So many reviews

Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 24th 2012


10614 Comments


yeah man three reviews for this so fuckin crazy I can barely count all of them

whywontyoudie
October 24th 2012


3063 Comments


had no idea this was finally out, pretty stoked to listen to it soon

theshelfmaster
October 24th 2012


221 Comments


What's the spelling collagen thing? During the DNA bases part (I think that's what it is?)

thekingofqueen
October 24th 2012


16 Comments


YESH

ProjectFreak
October 25th 2012


1411 Comments


never listened to this band before but this album is pretty alright

it's like a weird mixture of Minus the Bear and Muse

Digging: From Indian Lakes - Absent Sounds

zxlkho
October 25th 2012


3465 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It sounds more like a mixture of Battles and a random post-hardcore band. I like it though.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 25th 2012


10284 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, I was surprisingly disappointed with this album on the first listen. The darker atmospheres don't seem to suit BATS very well. Like Potsy said, the lyrics were easier to digest with the more tongue-in-cheek nature of Tooth & Claw.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 25th 2012


10284 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

That's ok, we can continue our cyclical agreement forever and ever!!! We'll always be right!!

ProjectFreak
October 25th 2012


1411 Comments


but the instrumentals though.
great mix of technicality and groove (hence the MtB comparison).

Stimpeeey
October 25th 2012


3 Comments


Minus the Bear for Sure, good call. On this album, more on the beats and groves, guitar tones,
effects, rhythms and application as opposed to overall structure of compositions (which was much more
apparent in that regard on the earlier stuff). Chris Common said they were the closest comparison he
could think of. I reckon he'd know.

sexualsoybean
October 25th 2012


911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah man three reviews for this so fuckin crazy I can barely count all of them


Heh, yeah maybe you should write a 4th too because your review offers so much more that the others dont

omnipanzer
October 25th 2012


21621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love it, every bit as much as RiTaC.

Digging: We Were Promised Jetpacks - Unravelling



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