Bat-Bike don’t seem to take themselves too seriously, which is a good thing for a guitar band (although that may not be an accurate description, as all 3 members reportedly strum, drum and sing). Getting Back is full of lo-fi, roughly blues-punk songs about subjects like a ‘Leicester Holiday’. LP on Trashmouth Records.
LP £13.99 TMR9LP
LP on Trashmouth Records.
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- Getting Back by Bat-Bike
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Fuck, okay, this record begins with a song called “Leicester Holiday” and I am not prepared to make a well-timed, on-topic but off-brand football joke. I feel like I must though: how about that team? Can you believe this cupset? Cupset is my new band name. Okay we’re good. On a somewhat related note, “Leicester Holiday” is a psych blues jam, born from a lovely jangling guitar line and gifted a downcast rhythm and a spoken word chant-along. Despite its slow-burning, go-nowhere style, it’s hard not to be hooked by Bat-Bike’s very first song -- it gets busier and more chaotic, all the while containing itself to a very basic song idea. Argh, I do fucking like you, psychedelia.
If you’re wondering why ‘Getting Back’ sounds so messy, it’s because these guys are willfully and voluntarily idiots. They call their songs things like “We Like Tom Waits He’s Famous” and “Sex” (idk what that is either); they all play each other's instruments like children who only want a toy because they haven’t got it right now. Somehow, they are also very good, or they’ve tricked me into liking them, maybe? I adore the way “Sean Lemon” uses shimmering drums within its opening ballad structure, before giving way to feral lo-fi screams and a kinda shitty but gorgeously pronounced riff. The audacity, I tell you: it reminds me of art-rockers Ava Luna if they’d been lost at sea and reinvented as a psychedelic Pixies. It doesn’t really -- ‘Getting Back’ has just made my day weird.
The rather wonderful “Digital Image” scatters echoing fretplay and robotifies a vocal into something of an Arthur Russell pop nugget, the kind of thing that sounds so indecipherable you just decide it’s pretty. This is weirdly fucking great -- Parquet Courts fans, it’s for you, This Heat fans, you made this happen, people who like the idea of being in a band but can’t stomach learning the instrument, here’s your inspiration. I can’t tell if I love ‘Getting Back’ because I’m in the reviewing hotseat at a loose end or if these lazy, half-heartedly emotive non-songs are actually good, but: nice. I’ve never felt more barely alive.
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