The Bats

🏷 Eighties jangle pop from Christchurch, New Zealand

This week, Ecléctico is globe-trotting below the equator. Today we jet over to New Zealand.

"Made Up In Blue" by The Bats
(1987)


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Only Solitaire Blog: The accompanying assumption is that The Bats loved their homoplastic relatives The Byrds, and everything that had to do with folk-pop jangle in general. Subsequently, they did not exactly invent what is informally known as «Kiwi pop», but they very much defined it and helped substantiate its stereotypic «nice and jangly» image — and they themselves were never nicer and janglier than they are on this here LP debut.

Few things are simpler than the Bats formula — maybe the Ramones, but then, punk thrives on simplicity, whereas folk-pop need not necessarily be as one-dimensional as Daddy's Highway. Steady, danceable rhythm, usually taken in mid- or fast tempo for optimal effect; two guitars — one with lower pitch, one providing the jangly flourishes; quiet, relaxed vocals, either solo or with doubled harmonies, always keeping fairly low in the mix; [unobtrusive], usually introspective, lyrics that are not meant to be paid serious attention to.

If you really like this sound as such — and, for all its minimalism, it is a pretty seductive sound, and it must have been even more seductive, coming on the airwaves in the synth-pop dominated 1980s — Daddy's Highway may appear to you as an endearing sonic masterpiece.