BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Recently re-released (sans bonus tracks, unfortunately) 2011’s Free All The Monsters offers belated opportunity to discover Christchurch New Zealand’s favorite sons. By all rights, getting reacquainted ought not be necessary, given the fact that the Bats have been around more than 30 years, albeit garnering substantially less acclaim than ought to have been their due.
Regardless, the general consensus among critics and admirers alike is that Free All The Monsters represents the pinnacle of their recording career, the best possible collusion of jangly instrumental prowess and smart, enticing melodies. Any one of these songs might provide an effective introduction, be it through the earnest strum of “Long Halls,” “Spacejunk” and “In the Subway,” the uplifting sentiments of “See Right Through Me” or the billowy harmonies that adorn “It’s Not the Same.” Equal parts idyllic outlook and psychedelic suggestion, Free All The Monsters stands out as an album worthy of ongoing appreciation. Now, given opportunity for reconnection, it will hopefully get belated love after all.
DOWNLOAD: “Long Halls,” “It’s Not the Same,” “See Right Through Me”