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The Guilty Office

The Bats

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

The Bats are part of the axis of cool upon which the legendary New Zealand post-punk scene was built, with royal figureheads the Clean at the core. Bassist and vocalist Robert Scott was an early member of that band, and when the Clean went on hiatus in the ‘80s, he founded the long-running Bats. Many years have passed since their 1987 debut, Daddy’s Highway, and in spite of a voice showing some signs of good use, Scott and his trademark ringing, guitar-jangle, heart-on-sleeve lyrics and original bandmates (!) continue to produce music that is still unique today. Kaye Woodward’s sweet counterpoint vocals are vital, and tracks like the moving “Castle Lights” and “The Orchard” work in great part thanks to the pair’s fragile harmonies. “Broken Path” and “The I Specialist” share the dark melancholy of earlier works like “Cliff Edge,” while “Steppin’ Out” has the upbeat energy of “Treason” from so many years ago. The music feels effortless and easy; one hopes it portends a continued career for this seminal group, whose influence reaches far beyond their record sales. (Check out Minisnap, a side project of Scott’s three bandmates.)

Customer Reviews

They still have it ....

All these years later! How many years, you ask? Somewhere around 25 years ago The Bats came together in new zealand and they've faded in and out but keep coming back. This is a beautiful record -- moody and full of color -- and if you've never heard them, you need to!

My new Sunday morning record

I've been listening to this nonstop for days and am a better person for it. Gorgeous, melancholic New Zealand jangle pop that never fails to lift the soul. "Castle Lights" is my favorite so far, but, as with all Bats records, there are endless subtle riches to be found the longer you spend time with them.


Formed: 1982 in Christchurch, New Zealand

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Yet another outgrowth of the seminal Clean, the Bats are an institution on the New Zealand music scene, their melancholy jangle pop sound and infectious melodies consistently defining the kiwi rock aesthetic at its very best. The Bats were formed in Christchurch in 1982 by ex-Clean bassist Robert Scott, ex-Toy Love bassist Paul Kean, singer/multi-instrumentalist Kaye Woodward, and drummer Malcolm Grant; with Scott adopting lead vocal and guitar duties as well as serving as the Bats' chief songwriter,...
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