Batsch – Batch (Quick Review)

Coventry based band Batsch have been playing for a number of years in the city. Developing a following for their blend of pop and new wave the group recently released their second album on Tin Angel Records.

On Batch (local word for a bun you get at a chip shop), their second album continues this coy blend of Afro Beat sensibilities, with New Wave lyricism, and a pop stance. If you were to play the album in the background, it would sound like a very upbeat pop record. And sure enough, musically it is upbeat. Joe Carvell’s bass grooves are deep and cyclical, the wonderful timbre and performed drums by Matt Rheeston are like riffs within themselves, the song structures are intriguing and progressive, Andy Whitehead provides the essence of the plastic sounding arp keys, which really provide the sound of the band. They act as flourishes to a tight unit, a sugar-coating with hidden popping candy. Mason Le Longe who plays guitar and sings on the album, also engineered the record and mixed it. As a group they are a machine. The production is subtle yet stated, Mason’s guitar riffs are clean yet biting.

Arginine tells the tale of an abortion (dubbed by someone as abortion pop), yet again, it sounds light, but lyrically it is brutish and horrifying. Bull Point details the strange occurence of a possible murder location scribbled on a wall, Celina and 22 deal with existential young adult crisis. Every moment is crafted and thought about in exquisite fashion. The dryness of the drums, the harsh character of the synths, the slap back guitars. Throughout the band stick to a sound that is very much their own. You cannot copy what is happening. It’s easy to throw out comparisons to Talking Heads, or Dutch Uncles, and yes there is a level of New Wave and Afro Beat in the tracks. In some ways it is nerdy, yet in other ways it is offensively cool. Listen to Matilde Vicenzi and you’ll see exactly what I mean. The vocals lead you through strong catchy choruses that never feel tiresome.

Below is the Michelle Bailey directed video for Awkward Patch. The video is as playful yet slightly perturbing as the music. With a slightly vaporware embrace, the superimposing of the band with goofy painted facial features works wonderfully and acts as really hokey Snap Chat filter, although with even more amusement.

You can buy the record on vinyl, or digitally from Tin Angel’s bandcamp

The band have just finished a tour with Laetitia Sadier that was rounded off with an album launch show back in Coventry, where new songs were debuted.