Sneaky Bat Machine - "Boneshaker"
By Marcus Pan
I received this one unexpectedly from my
DJing colleague, Macross, at In Perpetual Motion radio
(http://www.gothicindustrial.com). I like it, but I can't quite put my finger
on why - I guess it's the combination of bouncy beats and deep ambient pulses,
along with the somewhat-sarky lyrics. SBM come through with a cartoony
yet-darkened aesthetic - they remind me of Needulhed; not in musical style but
in mood. They have a wonderful comic book style about them. There's even talk
of releasing a cartoon based around one of the tracks from their upcoming
that's some cool shit.
SBM are putting the finishing touches on their full length
release - Disco 4 The Dead. This will be one I'll be waiting in line
for. It should be out very soon. Once done with this the threesome intend on
invading our shores - as they're actually based in the UK. The trio is made up
of, very much like Needulhed again, three aliens and off-worlders. Needulhed
came from a time warp while Sneaky Bat Machine come from other planets and
places of existence. Maxislag handles sampling & backing vocals. He hails
from Neptune. Please look at his hair. Playing synths is Evil C. He's from
Hell, so they say, and is said to be very much into the electronica music
style. This shows well in their work. Lastly there is the all-creator,
Sneakybat himself. He's said to have been bred from a "mummy bat."
Now that we know the trio, we
can discuss the music. The sounds and grooves that Sneaky Bat Machine
put together is reminiscent of Kraftwerk, Apotygma Berzerk, Skinny Puppy and
other electronic rhythm-pumping mayhem. Boneshaker is a four-track EP, a
precursor to their upcoming Disco 4 The Dead. Highly danceable and
extremely moving, SBM have a superior command of complicated rhythm sets which
they wrap around you and twist together. There isn't a rivethead Puppyman this
side of the world who isn't going to stomp to most of this stuff.
Boneshaker kicks off appropriately enough with the
track of the same name. Boenshaker (Nanonmix) is a balls-out, rhythmic
pulse of cartoonish keyboards and weirded lyrics. It's a fast-paced track that
is constantly speeding about. There's a few breathers, but the beat is always
there washing over your brain. Boneshaker sets the pace for the rest of
the EP - as the rhythmic pulsing style of SBM's music continues through into
Little Lost Ghost (Purple Gas Mix). This one has a more Kraftwerkian
feel - it's not as cartoonish. Instead it mixes in an ethereal/ambient keyboard
in the background behind the beat tracks. The vocals are more swirly than
weird. I like this track because it combines the elements of ambient sounds and
industrial beats together into a palatable creation worthy of the dance floor.
This is followed by the sarcastic smack of a song called More Or Less.
This one is about uber-goths. You know the type - you might even be the type,
hell I don't know. The uber-goths are the ones that are virtually and utterly
dysfunctional outside the boundaries of a club. They live the gothic lifestyle
so hard that they'd probably melt of you handed them a metal CD. "Just how
gothic can you be?" to quote SBM. So that's most of the tracks. I'll leave the
last for you to discover - can't reveal all the secrets y'know
Sneaky Bat Machine out of the UK provide a refreshing look
at the gothic lifestyle with a cartoon-like glam and an off-world sound. Their
combination of industrial and ambience makes a comfortable dance-floor hybrid.
I'm looking forward to their full-length. Look out. The Spacebats are
Post: SBM, 40
Ponsford Rd., Knowle, Bristol, BS4 2UR, UK
Phone: 0117 9714610