A sound a little too underground.
Forming in 2011, Melbourne underground punk/sludge/stoners Batpiss have toured heavily with some pretty impressive bands, going about things the old fashion way, building an audience by actually performing for people in the flesh.
The time has come for the band's debut full length, 'Nuclear Winter,' recorded by Tom Lyngcoln (The Nation Blue), which attempts to capture the feel of a group who have honed their talents in a live setting. And this is the issue. The poor quality of the recording is no doubt trying to replicate and represent the underground style and sound that the group represent, and there are ways to do this successfully on record, unfortunately just not this one.
The sound is muffled, vocals sometimes inaudible and there is little to no variety in any of the tones making this quite a tiring listen. This is a shame as the songs are excellent, and the energy is certainly there, live this band would no doubt be a force to be reckoned with, but this album is simply too garage.
Opening track 'Seed' is a perfect example of a song that would have brought its energy and aggression across far more effectively at the hands of better production. For a three piece the band are capable of some chaos in the songs, especially considering these elements are provided by the thumping rhythm section, with guitars focusing more on intricacies than being heavy.
In some ways the whole record feels like one long jam, which is cool as songs link well with one another, but a forty minute jam on a debut is a big ask. Some of the highlights come when the group focus more on heavily instrumental tracks like 'Human', with the vocals taking a back seat and the dynamics of the song become the main driver. The record's closing track, 'Drone', is also a stand-out thanks to its slow bass intro and sludge guitars, building incredibly gently and becoming a monster before you even realise it has happened.
There is an awesome record in here, it just suffers at the hands of poor production. That being said, if you make it all the way through, or even half way, this band will be high on your 'live acts you need to see' list.
2. Drag Your Body
3. Come Here And Fuck Off
4. Burn Below
8. Loose Screws
9. Couldn't Get Out