Thursday, April 23, 2015

Church Bats on Windian Records subscription series #3

Todd from Brooklyn's Church Bats was friends with Windian Records founder Travis Jackson before his passing early last year. They had always talked about putting a single out on the label so when the torch was passed to Eric Brady he included their latest as part of their ongoing subscription series. Windian has always felt like a label with a real clear direction when it comes to releasing contemporary punk garage bands and revisiting a lot of incredible forgotten singles thanks to Travis. The Church Bats are in good company and had the direct blessing from Travis himself. Since that tragedy, Todd has stepped up the bands efforts in remembrance of their friend and Travis' influence and spirit continues on now in Windian as well as The Church Bats.

A-Side's "Foreign Land" opens with a measure of jangly brittle riffs before the heavy hulk beat breaks in, Shingo is attempting to bash a hole right through the skins with a serious part of the budget set aside for for drum repair. Todd uses a doubled up vocal and what sounds like multiple guitars speeding through big fist changes, waiting for a measure so the huge solo can scream in over wrists firing in a snarly Blues Explosion sound. Riding the frequency right into the edge of the hissy peaks, boost the treble and mic a tweeter back through the board. It's full of static and crackle rushing this punk to the end in case somebody pulls the plug. It's always hard to capture this sort of spontaneous high energy sound like their coming right out of the speakers, playing directly in the room, but they nailed it.
B-Side's "Half Man, Half Shellfish" slowly wrings out this riff, twisting the neck between two chords in a meandering ocean roll. Slight shift up the register in that traditional blues scale. Dirty and crunchy sounding, it's all about how you bend your knees on this one. Turning out to be an instrumental that refuses to speed up in any way, trudging through molasses at night, the sun is going down and all kinds of animals are coming out for dinner. Bring out the broken bottle neck slide and make those strings squeal working it's way into a sewer surf sound with more gutteral distortion than reverb but this is that mix of spilled beer and alcohol that seeps into the wood bar. It can not be manufactured.

Get it from Windian. Have you even been paying attention?

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