Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Bat Bites- The Bat Bites

The Netherlands have made an appearance in the documentation of punk rock I want to make sure gets heard this year due to the well established pioneers of it's scene coming back with some fantastic releases. This has been a huge blessing to the global community but it's always nice to add another piece to the equation due to one of it's newer bands. Established since 2008, The Bat Bites are a great four piece band from Rotterdam that take a route of bands like the Teen Idols with both girl and guy lead vocals. That's really cool and I've been a fan of them since hearing their EP "Creatures Of The Night" a few years ago. They put out one more since but have had yet to produce a full length until now! The time has arrived for something that is a great honor of mine to present to you all, their first self titled LP, "The Bat Bites".

The songs were produced, recorded, and mixed during January through February of this year at West Side Aight Studio by none other than the talented Simon Speechless who's definitely made his presence known in my reviews this year. His production is fabulous as always and has really given definition to this band's sound! Like I've never heard before actually. Mastering was done by Justin Perkins at the Mystery Room. Photography was done by Jaap Kooiman. I really like the one that was chosen for the cover showing The Bat Bites in a backstage moment giving a great representation to their fun persona. Beautiful work on the photographer's part there. Artwork and layout was handled by The Bat Bites. Official release date is happening on September 5th by Monster Zero Records and you'll be able to pick it up in the form of a really pretty grey marble LP or CD. Digital will be available through iTunes and bandcamp.  

I think a distinct evolution for the band can be heard right from the start in the first few seconds of track one, "Tomorrow"(check it out here). This is due partly to the excellent recording quality but there's also an unmistakable advancement in  sound. It's much more defined than the previous two releases which I won't discount at all because the character of their songwriting I like so much has been present since day one but they've most certainly grown into a stronger confidence. There's a step up in everything. Merel and Mikey's vocals, Florian's presence on bass, all the way to Ivo's added touch as drummer since joining last summer. On a sidenote, this is the third time he's appeared on Ramona Confidential in yet a different band and I think it's just time to give him his title as 'Ivo Backbreaker: the Dan Panic of the Netherlands' haha. He really is! Anyway, back to that track one. It's lovely and shows The Bat Bites flavor of punk rock influenced by the pioneers of their area like the Apers, American classic pop punk, and their own unique personality. "Let Her Go"(listen here), a tale of lost love, was the next and only other song leaked until release happens this time showing Mikey as a lead. He sounds excellent too with his made for pop punk vocal tone. I love the way he and Merel play off of each other when the role is switched. They are equally as supportive. Out of the thirteen songs Merel, Florian, and Mikey contributed, there wasn't one that fell flat for me as a listener. Merel did some great ones about love like "I Wanna Be The One With You" and my favorite of hers, "Everything Will Be Fine". "Cigarettes" is a perfectly arranged one as well with some great changes and a pretty lead. The biggest surprise was "Heartbreaker". It comes across with such a beautiful 50's/60's doo-wop feel and features none other than Kurt Baker who added some guest vocals that worked out really well. It's the most different but still fits in the album just fine!

Aside from them just being a good band, this is honestly the best female/male shared lead vocal pop punk record I've heard in a long time. That's something that's always welcome and they've got it down to a catchy science so make sure to pick up the record once it's out! Follow The Bat Bites on facebook and twitter if you haven't yet to stay informed with upcoming shows and whatever else they have on the way.

The Bat Bites are...
Merel- Guitar and Vocals
Michael- Guitar and Vocals
Florian- Bass and Backing Vocals

Guest vocals on "Heartbreaker" by Kurt Baker

Tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, and 13 written by Merel. 2, 8, 11, and 12 written by Florian. "Again And Again" written by Mikey. "Cigarettes" written by Florian and Mikey.

1. Tomorrow
2. Let Her Go
3. Everything Will Be Fine
4. Would Have Could Have Should Have 
5. I Wanna Be The One With You
6. Cigarettes 
7. The Numbers
8. She Said She's Fine
9. One Day
10. Again And Again
11. Heartbreaker 
12. One More Drink
13. Won't Turn Off The Lights 

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