14th July will see the latest release from Coventry art/synth pop quartet Batsch. The band – Mason Le Long, Joe Carvell, Matt Rheeston and Andy Whitehead do a mean line in groove, laying down some beautifully melodic and memorable ones in their recorded work to date, taking the lead from the likes of Chic and Talking Heads. It persuaded Tin Angel to sign the band, despite usually only taking artists from North America, and releasing their debut EP, Tiles.
Collar, their new EP, opens with Celina, its stalling, stuttering allowing the opening salvo’s of analogue sounding synths, and New Order like disco melancholy to be fired. Its driven on by this schizophrenic offbeat bassline, the little interjections of synth melody and funk guitar sylings only adding to the mood.
“22” slows things down, but retains the jerky, jagged accompaniment of the opener, and the Sumner / Byrneisms of singer Mason Le Long. The band find a nice path throughout the EP between the artistic and the melodic, whilst still having a unashamed pop outlook.
“Did you hear about Argine” shows the band have a poetic turn of phrase, telling bleak story of teenage pregnancy and its (generally adverse in this case) effect on close family. Its punctuated by these violent crashes, between stripped back spiky lines of guitar and synth, with this nightmarish bassline creeping underneath everything.
Mirrorball changes mood in an instant with its childlike optimism and simple little melodic synth lines. Its shimmering lo-fi pop, written with a glint in the eye, all cheeky snatches of melody and glistening backing vocals. The EP ends with Can’t Tell, the most straight up of all the songs, with this swaggering bassline, and indie funk (remember that?) the name of the day.
“Our only aim is to make people dance,”is the mantra Le Long apparently works from. Mission accomplished Batsch. It’s out on download and limited cassette via Tin Angel records on July 14th