If you enjoy music that is played with 100% commitment by people who care more about how they sound than gaining scene points, then the new ‘Unholy Jazz’ EP by Bristol based outfit BatsAboutBats is essential listening. The second EP to come from the Bristol quintet, it is a definite progression from previous release ‘Unicrons’. The rage and the bile are still there, but they are both reigned in to create a more considered and planned assault on your senses.
From the very first note of ‘Impaler/Melancollier’, the album is gripping and very interesting, the musicianship is of the highest standard for every single note of this EP. ‘Impaler/Melancollier’ has a riff that sounds like Mastodon decided to have a crack at writing punk, and it really sucks you in before lurching into a throbbing riff backed by tumbling picked guitars. By the time frontman Paul Collier adds his vocal weight to this track, you can already tell how good this EP is going to be.
‘Tropical Priest’ might just be BatsAboutBats‘ best song to date, furious playing leaning towards a Ceremony/Trash Talk approach to songwriting showcases how well these guys can play, a circle pit starter for certain.
The crowning moment of ‘Unholy Jazz’ comes on the EP’s final track, ‘Death’. The opening of the track is pure rage, but soon the anger is put on hold to make way for a truly majestic middle section. Picked guitars chime over all as the band swell back to life to finish off the track in a completely epic fashion. Collier rasps “mother, father, kneel to my throne, for I am the king of the bastard sons” and you have to feel that after this record, crowds all around the country should be kneeling to this band such is their obvious talent. Every element of the band combines to devastating effect on ‘Death’, and it is the perfect song to close this brilliant EP.
BatsAboutBats are one of the absolute hidden gems in the South West in terms of punk music, and on the strength of this EP it shouldn’t be too long before they get discovered.
Written by Josh Peett