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The Bats
Silverbeet
(Flying Nun)
By Rat Bastard Falestra

From Dunedin and Christchurch, New Zealand, the Bats were formed ten years ago by guitarist/songwriter Robert Scott after he spent two years in the garage-pop pioneer band the Clean.

A solid line-up has remained intact all these years A Kaye Woodward (guitar), Paul Kean (bass), and Malcolm Grant (drums). After a few EPs for the Flying Nun label, the Bats released their first LP in 1987 A Daddy's Highway, full of consistently brilliant, uplifting tunes undercurrented by melancholy. In 1988 they recorded the LP The Law of Things. Not released until 1990, it's full of Scott's unforgettable fire and was cut with Brent McLaughlin of Bailter Space. Then came last year's almighty Fear of God, one of the greatest albums of this generation.

Scott strums his way through Silverbeet, displaying the ease that comes when outstanding songwriting is the foundation. It's amazing that this album can contain as many remarkable songs as it does -- "Courage," "Sighting the Sound," "Too Much," "Slow Alight," "Love Floats Two," "Before the Day," "Stay Away," "Drive Me Some Boars," "Halfway to Nowhere." Virtually every single track is a winner.

Of course any band can make a great record. The Bats just keep making them, remaining fresh and bubbling. That supports the notion that they're one of the best bands around. I highly recommend Silverbeet -- and their three previous albums as well. Down under over and out.

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