The new, self-titled album from Bat Fangs, out tomorrow via Don Giovanni Records, is the sort of record that is so simple in approach that a listener wonders why more bands don't sound this good. Betsy Wright (Ex Hex) and Laura King (Flesh Wounds) have taken the hard-rock genre-tropes of the last few decades and invigorated them with a hearty dose of enthusiasm. That these 2 women are staking a claim to every hoary hard rock riff attack of the Eighties and earlier makes this record even more of a revolutionary statement; who knew that party metal could sound so vital still?
The hooks of opener "Turn It Up" are ENORMOUS, more Andrew W.K. than Ex Hex, for those looking to gauge how much this Wright project owes to the big hair Eighties like her earlier band's stuff did, while the thunderous drums of "Rock The Reaper" seem an updating of the best Joan Jett and the Blackhearts numbers, only even louder. King's attack on the kit is a relatively simple one, but the force and power with which she imbues every smash on the cymbals or stomp on the kick-drum indicates a seriousness of intent that sits nicely next to the hair metal trappings Wright and her ax apply to the cut. Elsewhere, there's the sass of "Boys of Summer" and the buzzsaw riffs of "Wolfbite", a number that wouldn't have sounded out of place on a Scorpions album in 1985 or so. If "Mercury" is a brief respite from the thunderous rawk, album closer "Fangs Out" is cacophonous glory, all bad intent wrapped up in a real big hook.
If Bat Fangs is all caveman rock, at least it's being made by women. This is one hell of a record, and proof that two women can deliver a sound every bit as big and glorious as that of any bunch of dudes in spandex from the old days -- cock rock usurped, indeed. Smart, sharp, and full of bright riffs, Bat Fangs is the sort of album that makes a listener remember how much fun rock-and-roll is, and ought to always be. And that the very existence of Bat Fangs is sort of subversive, is yet another reason to love this band and their new full-length release.
Bat Fangs is out tomorrow on Don Giovanni Records.
More details on Bat Fangs via the band's official Facebook page.
[Photo: Soleil Konkel]