October 17, 2013

Split: Numb Bats - Numb Things

Numb Bats are bringing us twangy surf punk reeking of girl power and it's better than ever.

Numb Bats and Petty Things recently released a split cassette tape appropriately titled Numb Things. Shortly after its release, Numb Bats uploaded the two tracks that made up their half of the split on their bandcamp page and I have been surviving off them as nutritious ear intake ever since.

Opening with "Angry Woman" that pulses a twangy riff, there’s a huge chance you will immediately be reeled in with Numb Bats’ comparable vibe to The Cramps of which you have just resurrected by pressing the play button. The chant-like vocals murmur in the background as the lead vocalist wails over the main riff telling us all about a woman that she looks at with mild distaste, until eventually, the two choral lines overlap and ultimately join forces gushing forward in a clasping uproar: “And I don’t like you / And I don’t like you”. Us listeners can’t help but feel a bubbling hatred in the pits of our stomachs for this most likely fictional woman that they’re singing about. We won’t ever lay her eyes on her, but it can’t be prevented; we can’t help but agree with these wounded up yowls coming from the girls.

The chanting women that give this opening track such power has a girl group quality that strives off hostility rather than adoration. This comparison continues to shine in the next track, "Doctor 5," which holds a sturdier girl group sound instrumentally as well as vocally comparatively to the first track, as the girls sing harmonies over the surf-influenced guitar line: “I don’t even know how this is real / I don’t even know how I should feel / He comes out alone / You’re such a creep”.

When I played "Doctor 5" in my car to my friend recently, he compared Numb Things to the old school issues of Swamp Thing where the grimy green dude is hauling himself out of the water and heading straight for the conventional woman in despair. After shoving this image in my head that I couldn’t manage to force out of sight, all I have had in my mind when I’ve listened to Numb Bats has been a collection of exasperated girls with beehives stuck in a bog with their broken down car; only their antagonism and their guitars to keep them sane as they look out for someone driving by to help them out. With an image like that, I can’t imagine what else you could ask of a cassette. Wail along to the two tracks, and check out Petty Things’ energetic contribution to the split on their own bandcamp while you’re at it; this whole release will get your heart racing.


Listen to more Numb Bats on bandcamp.

Madalyn Trewin, a scrawny Australian teenager, who is feeding her obsession with dogs, David Lynch and Daniel Johnston twenty-four hours a day. If not that, she's writing about things she likes and saturating her friends in glitter so she can take photos of them to post onto her blog