The Bats: The Law Of Things
May 21, 1990
THE LAW OF THINGS, The Bats (Flying Nun)
The Bats have a sound. I sometimes wish they’d vary it a little more; bring Robert Scott’s voice up closer for the odd song, pull back the ever-jangling guitar, get away from their pet rhythm (it goes jang jang jang jigga jang jang jang). Still, when some groups spend a lifetime trying on different musical identities, the Bats have had theirs firmly established since they began, some seven years ago, and there’s no reason for them to feel uncomfortable with it.
And in subtle ways their music is being continually refined. On this, their second album, I hear strains of organ, violin and harmonica adding new colours to the harmonic picture. But what the Bats are about more than anything is songs, and their best ones have a special sense of melancholy and mystery. My favourites all seem to be on side 2: the beautiful ‘Mastery’, slow sad ‘Cliff Edge’ and canticle-like ‘Smoking Her Wings’.