Bat Fangs

Bat Fangs

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Bat Fangs are a box-fresh duo featuring Ex Hex's Betsy Wright and Flesh Wounds' Laura King. Their mission? To sincerely rock your socks off. Primarily taking their cue from '80s hard rock -- a trend they share with contemporaries like Sheer Mag and Starcrawler -- their tunes mix Bananarama-like melodies with the swagger of Van Halen's shout-out choruses and unequivocal riffs. The first taste of their debut came via "Wolfbite," and it was a canny choice for the lead single, being possibly the strongest and most sassily executed tune on the record. That's not to say their self-titled debut is lacking on the tune front. The record bulges with moreish hooks, from the singalong opener "Turn It Up" through the Bon Jovi-esque banger "Bad Astrology" to the glam rock strut of "Rock the Reaper." Bat Fangs make music that was made for air punching, built as it is on muscular riffs, brash solos, and drive-it-home percussion. The explicit nature of their music is matched with a wicked lyrical air, none more so than on "Boy of Summer." The track deliciously turns the gender tables as a mischievous love-'em-and-leave-'em anthem, and it's especially satisfying given that the duo is inhabiting a genre of music hitherto synonymous with macho posturing. At times it feels like Bat Fangs' bite could be a little more ferocious, as the record's charms run a little thin, and some of the cuts, like "Fangs Out," feel a tad lumpen. Equally, those looking for Ex Hex Mark II are likely to be disappointed, as overall it doesn't have the intangible spark or idiosyncrasies that made their record such a delight. But then they're not Ex Hex, they're Bat Fangs, and despite being a bare-bones affair, at their best they are a big, bold, anthemic blast.

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