THE BATS: The Guilty Office
By Amanda Mills
For their seventh album, The Bats have kept the status pretty much quo, creating indie-pop with a smart edge. 'The Guilty Office' was recorded at John Kelcher's (Sneaky Feelings) studio in Heathcote and continues The Bats' trajectory of great albums filled with jingle-pop, a welcome hangover from their days on Flying Nun. The tone is mostly upbeat, with tracks like Satellites and Castle Lights providing moments of almost sublime aural bliss. As musicians The Bats have always been impressive, Kaye Woodward's superb harmonies provide a perfect counterpoint to Robert Scott's vocals and the use of strings and harp on The Orchard add depth and further layers of enjoyment. While the music is fresh some of the material does sound familiar, as if it had been pulled from another, earlier Bats release. This is not a bad thing though, proving that songwriting ability doesn't necessarily vanish after 25 years. 'The Guilty Office' is a wonderful treat, and, along with 'Bounce Around' from Minisnap (the offshoot of The Bats), represents some of the best alternative pop coming out of this country today.