How do you tell the story of The Bats?

One that began over 29-years ago in Christchurch, New Zealand. One that has included three EP’s, seven albums and two compilations, numerous international tours and received gushing reviews from every corner of the music press.

Formed in 1982 by Robert Scott (The Clean) chief songwriter on lead vocals and guitar, bassist Paul Kean (Toy Love) singer/guitarist Kaye Woodward (Minisnap) and drummer Malcolm Grant (The Builders). Following a series of EPs, came their outstanding debut Daddy’s Highway in 1987 and from there it has been a stream of acclaimed albums all the while amassing fans and friends around the world.

And here we have the next chapter of The Bats story. Titled, Free All The Monsters, the band’s eighth album shows them in top form. Recorded at Seacliff, a former asylum in the grand Victorian style just outside of Dunedin, New Zealand, and masterfully produced by Dale Cotton (HDU, Dimmer), it captures some of their strongest songs to date.

From the melodic and insanely catchy title track, through to the psychedelic thrum of ‘Space Junk’, the lo-fi folk of ‘Simpletons’ and the soaring instrumental passages - Free All the Monsters is filled with powerful and haunting guitars, delicate vocals and rhythms that swerve and stomp throughout.

The Mantles

What makes the Mantles the Mantles? Maybe it's the idiosyncratic motion and energy of Michael Olivares' vocals, the way they alternately stroll and hop assuredly over the music. Or maybe it's the band's sound itself, familiar and classic yet increasingly distinctive, and growing—with acoustic texture; keyboard hooks and licks; and resonant and representative drumbeats—to its deepest, warmest, fullest, and most colorful on their third album, All Odds End, a record that is quintessentially Mantles from the sheer sonic splendor and elation—and biting words—of the album-opening "Island" on through to the final harmony of "Stay."

For this album Olivares, Weatherby, and lead guitarist Justin Loney were joined by Matt Bullimore on bass, a New Zealand native and member of Oakland’s Legs, and Carly Putnam on keyboard. These two new members energize the band into exploring territory that ranges from the staccato bursts and messy wisdom of "Police My Love" (which draws from a crazy variety of lyrical inspirations), to the country lilt of "Undelivered," to the casually anthemic SF-to-LA tilt of "Best Sides." People move, bands fall apart, cities change, but the Mantles abide and grow stronger, embodying their many-faceted name—planetary core-deep; incandescent; enveloping—a bit more with each new day, year, song and album. The Mantles are more and more the Mantles, and listening with dedication is like getting gifts. All Odds End, but the group continues to bloom.

"Born a duo in 2011, Oakland’s Legs gradually morphed into a full band. After a few EPs, they released Pass the Ringo in 2013. Brooklyn Vegan loved it, and compared them to Television Personalities! Austin Town Hall said it was #5 top album of the year! Vice called it the Worst Album of the Month. Legs seemed poised for stardom! They toured the West Coast, even opened for The Bats at the Rickshaw, and then….they disappeared…. A few weeks ago, Legs announced a new LP in the works, smooth jams even. Legs also confirmed their first live appearance in just over a year!" --Bay Bridged

"Oakland's Legs plays simple jangle-pop with a steady midtempo chug and a strong sense of melody that opens up after repeated listens. (The band attributes some inspiration to member Matt Bullimore's youth in Christchurch, New Zealand, where he absorbed the local hits released by Flying Nun and Creation Records.)" --Paper


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