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Location: Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

Sunday, September 19, 2004

The Bats -- Thousands of Tiny Luminous Spheres

I'm not sure that the Bats (founded by ex-Clean bassist Robert Scott) do anything in particular to set themselves apart from the rest of their circle. In fact, they're probably the most straightforward of the NZ poppers. At times while listening to Thousands of Tiny Luminous Spheres, I had the sense that these guys had only ever heard "Don't Fear the Reaper" before starting their own recording. That sounds like a criticism, but it's not meant to be. The Bats have a great sense of melody, nice guitar leads, and catchy hooks. The harmonies are a little off; in fact, I get the sense that no one in any of these bands cared too much about precise singing, and maybe that's part of why I like all of them.

This disc is one of my favorites so far, which may be a bit unfair given that it's a career overview. The tracks could almost fit together as an album, though, because the jangly REMish sound is that consistent ... hmmm, perhaps they sound more like a more-electric Teenage Fanclub.

Almost no duds here, but highlights: "North by North," "Block of Wood," and "Mastery."


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