Bats Out! is an Oi! band (or street punk if you like) from Regina, Saskatchewan, who bring more than their share of scenster experience and a long history of roots within the genre to their music. Despite only having been together since 2013, this band sounds as if they’ve been grinding it out in studios and on the road for the better of a decade already. And their debut EP, “Flying Blind” out now on Pirates Press Records, shows that.
Mixing classic 80’s era hardcore, shout along UK OI! and the political rave em ups of bands like M.D.C., or even the more recent street punk kings out of Vancouver, Bishops Green, Bats Out! looks set to set the prairies on fire with some much needed punk rock fury.
“Flying Blind” kicks off with the song ‘Your World’ and harkens back to the glory days of Minor Threat, with a forceful, impassioned vocal delivery and a heavy rhythm that gives way to a jumpy chorus of “I don’t wanna live in your world”, the song is a rallying cry for the antisocial and the outcast.
The second track ‘Flying Blind’ is some catchy, bouncy Oi! in the vein of Calgary’s Knucklehead or even some of Rancid’s better tracks. It’s fast, it’s exciting, it’s well executed and it should make for some fantastic slam pits at shows.
‘F**k Your Politics’ is, as you can guess from the title, the most overtly political track on the EP, as well as the most confrontational. It whips by in just over a minute and rather than taking a stance on any one side of the political spectrum, instead takes a stance against politics in general, disowning them altogether as something which are, at the end of the day, pointless and dumb. I can’t say I disagree.
Finally ‘Rebel Rock Revolution’ is a love letter to not only underground punk rock and the scenes it has inspired and the lifeblood which pumps through it, but the bands that have championed it and the sound it creates. The band the track most immediately brings to mind is Roger Miret and the Disasters, the Oi! side project of Roger Miret, of legendary hardcore titans Agnostic Front. A great way to end the album.
I’m really impressed with “Flying Blind”. Considering the band has only been together a couple of years, and considering they are from an area of Canada not known for its burgeoning street punk scene, this points to some exciting things for this band in the future. Keep your eyes peeled.