"Release the Bats" is a song by Australian post-punk band The Birthday Party. Written by Nick Cave and Mick Harvey, the song was released as a single on 31 July 1981 through 4AD record label, with the B-side "Blast Off". The recordings were produced by the band and Nick Launay. The single charted on UK Indie Chart, peaking at number 3.
Achieving a cult status following its release, the title track became influential on the then-emerging gothic rock genre. The tracks off the single were later featured on the CD reissues of the band's final album, Junkyard (1982), as bonus tracks.
|"Release the Bats"|
|Single by The Birthday Party|
|Released||31 July 1981|
|Recorded||1981; (Townhouse Studios, London)|
|The Birthday Party singles chronology|
"Release the Bats" became a highlight of the Birthday Party's live set in early 1981 and was recorded for a John Peel session. The track and its B-side were recorded on the same night with a session at the Townhouse Studios with producer Nick Launay, who was commissioned by 4AD because of his work on Public Image Ltd's Flowers of Romance (1981). Launay managed to book cheap studio time in Studio Two after midnight only, as the daytime session on the studio was occupied by Phil Collins. Launay recalled: "They walked in looking like they hadn't slept in days, all smartly dressed in black like they had just come from church but maybe the church was a ruin with rats, and they hadn't washed in weeks... The term goth did not exist at that time, certainly not in the way we would use it these days, but I will say that recording a song called 'Release The Bats' with people who looked like vampires was pretty fucking exciting!"
The sessions were dominated by guitarists Mick Harvey and Rowland S. Howard. During the recording of the vocals of the B-side "Blast Off," they insisted vocalist Nick Cave redo the middle section of the track many times as a prank, until Cave was out of breath and nearly collapsed. The band ended up using the first take with the advice of Launay. As a means of retaliation, Launay equalized the guitar tracks with a huge amount of mid-range after they requested that the guitars sound the way a bee sting feels. He also ran them through two more graphic equalizers and cut out all the low end, creating the abrasive and distorted sound of the track. During the rest of the recording, the band members regularly disappeared to the bathroom, which according to Launay "added to the fuel and edginess of the night," and notable arguments broke out, mainly aiming at drummer Phill Calvert.
According to Harvey, the title track was conceived as "a comedic interlude" and was recorded "because it happened almost by accident."
AllMusic's Amy Hanson categorized the track as a "deep rolling bass-led cacophony," while Sasha Frere-Jones of New Yorker argued that its "rhythm section vamps around a menacing bass figure while the guitar lurches back and forth, unsure of whether to make noise or form chords." Cave’s barely comprehensible yowling vocals on the track also contrasts with "the ominous baritone with which he’s now indelibly associated."
Lyrically, the song was meant to be a self-parody, caricaturing the band's gothic associations. The title and lyrics of the track employs typical gothic themes, with attacking phrases such as "sex horror sex bat sex sex horror sex vampire sex bat horror vampire sex."
AllMusic critic Amy Hanson described the track as "the quintessential Birthday Party song," stating: "The song's title alone ensured that "Release the Bats" became a mantra for the gothic generation as vampires, blood, and biting were so popular with the caped crowd." The song formed a basis for the gothic rock genre, which was later dismissed by Cave.
|UK Indie Chart||3|
Bat bombs were an experimental World War II weapon developed by the United States. The bomb consisted of a bomb-shaped casing with over a thousand compartments, each containing a hibernating Mexican free-tailed bat with a small, timed incendiary bomb attached. Dropped from a bomber at dawn, the casings would deploy a parachute in mid-flight and open to release the bats, which would then disperse and roost in eaves and attics in a 20–40-mile radius (32–64 km). The incendiaries, which were set on timers, would then ignite and start fires in inaccessible places in the largely wood and paper constructions of the Japanese cities that were the weapon's intended target.Bats Day in the Fun Park
Bats Day in the Fun Park, also known as Bats Day, Goth Day, Bats Day in the Park and Bats Day Out, started in August 1999 as a joint effort between the promoters of the goth/industrial and deathrock clubs Absynthe and Release the Bats. It has become an annual three-day event taking place in Anaheim, CA, United States near Disneyland. In previous years, the events commenced on the weekend before Labor Day. In 2008 the official Bats Day celebrations were held on November 8 and 9; the official Bats Day for 2009 was May 2 and 3.Bats Day event weekends usually happen the 1st or 3rd weekend in May.
The 2010 event dates were April 30 - May 2, 2010 and 2011 dates were May 6–8, 2011.
2017 Event Dates May 5 - 7, 2017Error (band)
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"Evil" is a song by American rock band Interpol. It was released as the second single from their second studio album, Antics, on January 3, 2005. The song is believed to be about Fred and Rosemary West, a married couple who raped and murdered teenage girls together. "Evil" peaked at number 18 on the UK Singles Chart and number 24 on Billboard magazine's Modern Rock Tracks chart. In Australia, the song was ranked number 76 on Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2004.Gothic rock
Gothic rock (alternately called goth-rock or goth) is a style of rock music that emerged from post-punk in the late 1970s. The first post-punk bands which shifted towards dark music with gothic overtones include Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, Bauhaus, and the Cure.The genre itself was defined as a separate movement from post-punk due to its darker music accompanied by introspective and romantic lyrics. Gothic rock then gave rise to a broader subculture that included clubs, fashion and publications in the 1980s.Helena (song)
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Liquid Liquid is an American no wave and dance-punk group, originally active from 1980 to 1983. They are best known for their track "Cavern," which was covered by the Sugar Hill Records house band as the backing track for Melle Mel's old school rap classic "White Lines (Don't Do It)." The group released a series of extended plays, including the acclaimed 1983 12" EP Optimo. In 2008, the band reformed, playing in various venues around the globe.List of gothic festivals
The following is an incomplete list of gothic festivals, which encapsulates music festivals focused on gothic music. Goth festivals may feature genres such as gothic rock and gothic metal, as well as industrial music. The festivals also tend to feature aspects of the Goth subculture, such as fans and bands in goth fashion. Goth is a musical subgenre of post-punk and alternative rock that formed during the late-1970s. Gothic rock bands grew from the strong ties they had to the English punk rock and emerging post-punk scenes. The genre itself was defined as a separate movement from post-punk due to its darker music accompanied by introspective and romantic lyrics. Gothic rock then gave rise to a broader subculture that included clubs, fashion and publications in the 1980s.Missing Link Records
Missing Link Records was an Australian-based independent record label established in 1977. The Missing Link label was created by Keith Glass (singer-guitarist ex-Cam-Pact) and David Pepperell (journalist and vocalist, ex-The Union) who were the owners of a Melbourne record store of the same name. The name was taken from a 1960s Australian rock band, The Missing Links. The label's initial releases were two retrospective 7-inch singles, "The Ultimate Garage Band" by The Union and "Living in the 60's" by Cam-Pact, both of which band from the 1960s that the owners had respectively performed with. Following a few more releases Pepperell departed and the label took on a new contemporary release program to reflect the punk-new wave movement of the late 1970s. According to rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, "[it] was a cornerstone organisation on Melbourne's independent scene of the late 1970s". The label became influential through the release of both Australian and overseas material, scoring a top 20 hit single with the local release of The Flying Lizards kitchen electronic version of "Money" (1979), when it was passed over by Festival Records.In 1978 the label signed The Boys Next Door, a punk band featuring Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Phill Calvert and Tracy Pew for whom Glass was also the manager. In 1980, the band renamed themselves as The Birthday Party. They became the flagship of the label, recording three albums and being licensed all around the world, with the single "Release the Bats" reaching #1 on the UK Alternative charts. Other notable local artists released by Missing Link Records include Bleeding Hearts, The Go-Betweens, Whirlywirld, The Laughing Clowns and Dynamic Hepnotics. The label continued to release 1960s retrospectives, local Australian contemporary punk and new wave, and licensed material from overseas. International licensed releases included those by Snakefinger, The Residents and Dead Kennedys.In 2002 Glass reactivated the Missing Link label and one of its first releases was a nineteen-track Cam-Pact compilation, Psychedelic Pop 'n' Soul 1967-69, featuring all the group's studio recordings, plus many previously unreleased tracks.In 2006, the shop started releasing records again under the Missing Link name. The releases include local Australian acts such as Agents of Aborrence, Los Diablos, Terror Firma, The Focus, True Radical Miracle, Mutiny and licensed releases for the Australian market by Minus the Bear, Regulations, and Bouncing Souls.
In October 2011 Missing Link Records ceased trading at its 405 Bourke Street Melbourne address, citing adverse trading conditions over the past few years brought about by the continued decline in hardcopy music sales, the ever present theft of music and multitude of digital options.My Heart Will Always Be the B-Side to My Tongue
My Heart Will Always Be the B-Side to My Tongue is the third EP by American rock band Fall Out Boy, released on May 18, 2004 by Fueled by Ramen.Nick Cave
Nicholas Edward Cave (born 22 September 1957) is an Australian musician, singer-songwriter, author, screenwriter, composer and occasional actor, best known for fronting the rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Cave's music is generally characterised by emotional intensity, a wide variety of influences, and lyrical obsessions with death, religion, love and violence.Born and raised in rural Victoria, Cave studied art before fronting the Birthday Party, one of Melbourne's leading post-punk bands, in the late 1970s. They relocated to London in 1980, but, disillusioned by life there, evolved towards a darker, more challenging sound, and acquired a reputation as "the most violent live band in the world". The Birthday Party is regarded as a major influence on gothic rock, and Cave, with his shock of black hair and pale, emaciated look, became an unwilling poster boy for the genre. Soon after the band's break-up in 1983, Cave formed Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Much of the band's early material was set in a mythic American Deep South, drawing on spirituals and Delta blues, while Cave's preoccupation with Old Testament notions of good versus evil culminated in what has been called his signature song, "The Mercy Seat" (1988). The 1990s saw Cave achieve greater commercial success with quieter, piano-driven ballads, notably the Kylie Minogue duet "Where the Wild Roses Grow" (1996), and "Into My Arms" (1997). More recent releases, including the band's 16th and latest LP, Skeleton Tree (2016), feature increasingly abstract lyrics from Cave, as well as elements of ambient and electronic music. Grinderman, Cave's garage rock side project, has released two albums since 2006.
Cave co-wrote, scored and starred in the 1988 Australian prison film Ghosts... of the Civil Dead (1988), directed by John Hillcoat. He also wrote the screenplay for Hillcoat's bushranger film The Proposition (2005), and composed the soundtrack with frequent collaborator Warren Ellis. The pair's film score credits include The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), The Road (2009), Lawless (2012), and Hell or High Water (2016). Cave is the subject of several films, including the semi-fictional "day in the life" 20,000 Days on Earth (2014), and the documentary One More Time with Feeling (2016). Cave has also released two novels: And the Ass Saw the Angel (1989) and The Death of Bunny Munro (2009).
Cave's songs have been covered by a wide range of artists, including Johnny Cash ("The Mercy Seat"), Metallica ("Loverman") and Arctic Monkeys ("Red Right Hand"). He was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007, and named an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2017.Pleasure Heads Must Burn
Pleasure Heads Must Burn is video/DVD by The Birthday Party. Originally issued by IKON in 1984 in Betamax and VHS formats; in 2003 a DVD re-issue based on VHS cassette with additional tracks (see listing below).Raccoo-oo-oon
Raccoo-oo-oon was an experimental noise rock/psychedelic rock quartet from Iowa.
Their first release was a self-issued cassette entitled Is Night People, which was reissued by Swedish label Release the Bats, (see Allmusic).
The members of the group were Andy Spore (vocals, electronics, percussion and saxophone), Daren Ho (vocals, guitar and electronics), Ryan Garbes (percussion and electronics) and Shawn Reed (vocals, guitar, electronics and percussion).The Birthday Party (band)
The Birthday Party (originally known as The Boys Next Door) were an Australian post-punk band, active from 1978 to 1983. Despite limited commercial success, The Birthday Party's influence has been far-reaching, and they have been called "one of the darkest and most challenging post-punk groups to emerge in the early '80s." The group's "bleak and noisy soundscapes," which drew irreverently on blues, free jazz, and rockabilly, provided the setting for vocalist Nick Cave's disturbing tales of violence and perversion. Their music has been described by critic Simon Reynolds as gothic, and their single "Release the Bats" was particularly influential on the emerging gothic scene.In 1980, The Birthday Party moved from Melbourne to London, where they were championed by broadcaster John Peel. Disillusioned by their stay in London, the band's sound and live shows became increasingly violent. They broke up soon after relocating to West Berlin in 1983. The creative core of The Birthday Party – singer and songwriter Nick Cave, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Mick Harvey, and singer, songwriter and guitarist Rowland S. Howard – later went on to acclaimed careers.The Birthday Party discography
The discography of The Birthday Party, an Australian post-punk band, consists of four studio albums, two live albums, six compilation albums, six extended plays and nine singles. The group began under various names in Melbourne in 1973; formed by vocalist Nick Cave, guitarist Mick Harvey, drummer Phill Calvert, guitarist John Cocivera, bassist Brett Purcell, and saxophonist Chris Coyne —all of whom were students at Caulfield Grammar School. By 1978, following several membership changes, the band consisted of Cave, Harvey and Calvert with bassist Tracy Pew and guitarist Rowland S Howard. Under the name The Boys Next Door, the band released several singles and two studio albums, Door, Door in 1979 on Mushroom Records and The Birthday Party in 1980 on Missing Link Records.
Despite moderate success in Australia, The Boys Next Door relocated to London, England in 1980 and changed their name to The Birthday Party. In London, the band experienced underground critical success with a series of singles and two further studio albums, Prayers on Fire (1981) and Junkyard (1982); Junkyard was also a minor commercial success, peaking at number 72 on the UK Albums Chart upon its release. In 1982, the band relocated to West Berlin, Germany and Calvert departed. The band, now featuring Harvey on dual guitar and drumming duties, released as two EPs, The Bad Seed and Mutiny!, in 1983 on 4AD and Mute Records. Featuring Einstürzende Neubauten member Blixa Bargeld as a guest musician, they were the band's final recordings prior to their disbandment in late 1983.Cave, Harvey, Barry Adamson and Bargeld formed Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in December 1983 and Howard joined Crime and the City Solution, as well as forming These Immortal Souls in the wake of The Birthday Party's break-up. The band's back catalogue has been reissued several times, usually in the form of compilation albums such as Mutiny/The Bad Seed (1989) and Hits (1992), and several unreleased recordings and video albums have been released since their disbandment. Though the band did not experience commercial success during their career, they have been recognised as having a major impact on the gothic rock genre and influencing several subsequent bands, including My Bloody Valentine, Gogol Bordello and LCD Soundsystem.The Jesus Lizard
The Jesus Lizard is an American rock band formed in 1987 in Austin, Texas and based in Chicago, Illinois. They were "a leading noise rock band in the American independent underground…[who] turned out a series of independent records filled with scathing, disembowelling, guitar-driven pseudo-industrial noise, all of which received positive reviews in underground music publications and heavy college-radio play."After a brief run as a recording-only project based in Austin, founding vocalist David Yow, bassist David Wm. Sims, and guitarist Duane Denison relocated to Chicago, Illinois in 1989, where they found kindred spirits in recording engineer Steve Albini and Touch and Go Records. With the addition of drummer Mac McNeilly, they began performing live, eventually attracting an international audience. Drummer Jim Kimball replaced McNeilly late in 1996, and was himself replaced by Brendan Murphy two years later.
Despite releasing a split single with leading alt-rockers Nirvana and signing to Capitol Records, the band failed to find commercial success amid the alternative rock explosion of the 1990s and disbanded in 1999. Their reunion tour ten years later garnered positive responses from audiences and critics. The Jesus Lizard performed another reunion tour in 2017.Town Hall Steps
Town Hall Steps was a local music fanzine in Bolton, England from 1981 to 1983. Featured were bands and artists of all styles.
Some of the bands featured were Fashions of Fate, Medusa, Peruvian Drumstix, Rivington Spyke, Wiffer, Export, Shader, Wrathchild, Que Bono, Body, Buffalo, 100% Proof, Capsule Electric, Stormchild, The Reporters, A Pencil, JG Spoils, Squashed Hedgehog, The Autoze, Fireclown (band), Hot Gospels, Artzone, Rapid Fire, Future, Mean Street, Demetrius, Peppermint Dream, Rockin' Horse, Sister Rose, Uncle Sirus, Here & Now (band), Wolfpack, Shockwave, Deadly Embrace, Anoraks In Profusion, Pressure, 13th Candle, Robin Hill (guitarist) & Peter Wiltschinsky, Changing Face, Springfield Limit, Night Train, Burgundy, Pressure Drop, German Bight, Kyte, Roadrunner, Assassin, Twisted Ace, Oh No It's Them Again, Wizards of Zind, The Lewis Brothers Band, Rendezvous, Face To Face, Abolish Noise, UK Suicide, Bamboo Merchants, Release The Bats, French Connection, Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks, Xtract and Cheap Cinema.Yellow Swans
Yellow Swans were an American experimental music band from Portland, Oregon. The duo were renowned for their improvisational approach to noise music, creating a unique experience for each live performance. They described their music as "a constantly evolving mass of psychedelic noise that is both physically arresting and psychically liberating". The band consisted of Pete Swanson (vocals, drum machine, electronics) and Gabriel Mindel Saloman (guitar, feedback, electronics). The band announced their split in April 2008.