Batrider - Give it to me straight! No?

The first time I heard Batrider, I was sitting on the floor of Collingwood's Tote, "marrying" my best friend and probably thinking I was the wittiest, most personable human on earth. I remember liking the band a lot and in my head, writing an appropriately articulate and glowing review of the gig.


I don't remember much after that.


The second time I heard Batrider was after downloading an mp3 from their web site, it was a song called "Swamp Thang". This song had the immediate effect of making me want to fuck something. Anything. And make it dirty please. I don't know how the band would feel about that, but I don't really care. A physical reaction to a song is usually a compliment no matter how twisted.


Apparently bonding over a "common desire to attract fine looking suitors," Batrider formed in Wellington, New Zealand. This town seems to be producing a stream of fine acts, with bands such as the angular Die!Die!Die! and the Mint Chicks creating more than a ripple in the murky pond of the Australian scene.


So which other New Zealand bands should we be looking out for?


"The Aesthetics, The Bloody Souls. We used to like Die! Die! Die! but then Andrew got phat and their sound changed," say Batrider.


Despite the gritty texture of their sound Batrider says that their influences are derived from more mystical sources. Of that "Julia Rouse" (aka Julia Sullivan Macfarlane - guitar) says " My path has been illuminated by the beauty of India. It is such an exotic place, filled with opium, bindies and incense. Although I have never been there, I am constantly burning with a passion to be in that beautiful land, a passion that channels itself through my fingers, explodes onto my Gibson Vintage series 10s to 46s and into people pelvis's."


Perhaps it was that passion in my pelvis that made me so randy while listening to Swamp Thing? I'm not so sure about the bindies though.


After touring their home country, Batrider made the move across the water to our slightly bigger island of opportunity. Bringing "songs to trade for bread and dream catchers," they plan to "keep moving wherever the wind takes them". For now they are playing with such current Melbourne rock luminaries as Bird Blobs and The Dacios, wandering the sticky bars of Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra and enjoying the "abundance of awesome venues".


Maybe Tasmania should be next on the list for these wandering "gypsies"? You get the feeling that they'd feel right at home there, the island state having certain affinities with New Zealand (weather and sheep) and India (Opium and, errrrm, incense).


"There seems to be a (possibly historic) vibrant thing happening in Tasmania. Tassie jokes are not offensive enough to be offensive, extremely unfunny, and as depressingly suffocatingly boring as coming home from primary school to discover a re-run of M*A*S*H on telly again."


Less boring than M*A*S*H re-runs and more angst than Rikki Lake, their 2004 album They Said You're Hideous was a N.Z only release, I asked the band if they had any plans for a future release.


"Is it cool to not want to document what you have poured your creative blood into? What four beautiful people have given birth to? Recordings are like an indication of inner infection, they pose as a clue, like yellowy eyeballs."


Apparently the inner infection that manifests as Batrider is spreading its pustulant aesthetic schtick. Their web sites feature poster art, written word and other snippets of the contagious creative disease.


"We do what we like, and are fairly consistent in our tastes. It is important for us to push each other creatively. We all have many hidden talents."


Oh yes, and don't call them Bat Rider. It's Batrider. Just for the record.

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