Batrider
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Batrider

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"TARA "album of the year" review 2009"

"Album of the year. If you wonder why we haven't updated the website anytime over the month, it's because we are spending too much time debating over the tiny details that make Batrider's debut album great. It was extremely difficult to put into intelligent words exactly what we thought of this release without sounding like a 15 year old girl who has just been to an N'Sync concert."
Album Review - 9.5/10 - Polariods of Androids


"Live Review 2006"

"New Zealand's Batrider then launched into a relentless barrage of slugdy riffs, their wall of noise only momentarily interrupted by a broken string. The band very nearly blew me away in the literal sense, as well as the metaphorical, particularly on the part of the vocalist who in my estimation possesses one of the best voices in rock today."
- BMA Magazine


"HOMIE GNOMIE SINGLE review 2009"

Batrider ‘homie gnomie’ (low transit industries). We here owe Melbourne based imprint low transit industries something of an apology, over the course of the last few months they’ve been happily piping downloads of their releases which we have either foolishly overlooked or have managed to get as far as downloading banging on a CD and then proceeding to mislay. The frustration and the incompetence of it all but then - hey you’d expect nothing less from us hapless fools that we are. Anyhow give us a due we were quick to hook up to this little gem, a spiffing three track single from the London via Adelaide via New Zealand based combo Batrider. This lot have a debut full length kicking about entitled ’why can’t we be together’ which we rather suspect we have a download link for and will be rooting out once that is we’ve overcome the prolonged email glitches that have been blighting us of late. As said a forthcoming three track EP - the spiked and punch drunk ‘homie gnomie’ leads the charge, a decidedly bent out of shape beauty which upon initial listens may (or indeed may not - depending on your point of view) have you recalling a seriously wasted and shit-faced Sonic Youth, the sound curdled and dislocated the vibe very much nonplussed almost recalcitrant shuffles along with such a sense of bored verve that you’d be forgiven for thinking the band didn’t really want to be here, that said there’s a sublime edginess running through its core like words through a stick of candy within which a strange mutated funkiness threatens to take hold, this armed with the siege show of caustically wiring austere chugging riffs (a la Pixies) and the tribal like rhythmic underpins give it the distinct glossing of something recently awoken from a mid 70’s CBGB’s self induced coma. Classy if you ask me. In sharp contrast ’too greedy’ is a gorgeously speckled daydreaming mirage replete with lazy eyed lilts, breezily country folk styled lolloping imparting that feeling that you should be seeking out the nearby overhang of a big tree with which to lie under and dizzily watch the world whip by in a blur. ‘wagu’ wraps up the set, a skewed and discordant slab of bruised bubblegum pop, frayed and frazzled it initially sounds not unlike a seriously worse for wear Shangri La’s before skulking off to pay homage to Dinosaur Jnr. Guess we’ll be wiling away the night trying to root out that aforementioned full length for further inspection. Recommended. - http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php


"TARA review 2007"

Batrider are a difficult beast to pin down: just when you think you’ve got a song pegged, it lurches violently in another direction. Just when you’re used to Sarah Chadwick’s abrasive yet melodic vocals dominating a track, her voice is subsumed under a dark wave of guitar noise. Some critics have detected hints of Cat Power, others the emotional catharsis of John Lennon circa ‘Mother’. The swashbuckling nihilism of Junkyard-era Birthday Party could just as easily serve as a reference point, while the unpolished ‘Drought’ provides the missing link between guitar-heavy grunge and pop smarts.
If Tara is car crash art rock, thrilling but repulsive, then the acoustic bonus disc Pink Guitars, Yellow Stars is a far more conventional affair. Compiled of alternate versions and re-recorded earlier songs, its more minimalist approach provides less tension, less urgency and less of that hard to place paranoia which makes Batrider unique. It’s interesting, but unavoidably inferior, even if the droning ‘James Selwood’ is almost hypnotic in its slow, bare-boned insistence. Listening to ‘Thing’, one of three songs to appear on both records, you long for the Tara version’s disreputable racket. As a creative left-turn, only Magic Dirt’s recent pair of releases is comparable in recent memory, but Tara is definitely the pick of the pair – the triumph of the ugly sibling.

by Daniel Herborn - Mess and Noise


"Live review 2007"

With each song Batrider go to the edge and hang there, the fury of the band’s sound holding them above the precipice that permanently lurks in the lyrics of vocalist Sarah Chadwick. The key to defying this emotional gravity is the various phrases that the singer pulls from the narrative, fastening onto the words and turning them into grinding mantras. “They don’t need to know what we do,” was one, and when Chadwick screws up her face into the microphone as the repetition takes hold, her bandmates match her in intensity, bearing down on the central riff.
The outcome of these songs, spearheaded by the robust ‘Take Me Back’, is uncertain, but they do enough to offer release to both the artist and the audience. Since their welcome relocation from New Zealand, Batrider have slowly been building in purpose, their material growing sharper and more revelatory. Whether they’re going to stay where they are or break through into some kind of tender resolution is unclear, but right now they’re making pop songs cut together with razor blades.
by Craig Mathieson - Mess and Noise


"THE SAID YOU'RE HIDEOUS review 2005"

Having recorded an album in their native NZ, Batrider made an immediate impact on the Melbourne scene, assaulting unsuspecting locals with their unforgiving live shows and confrontational artwork. They Said Your Hideous culls six tracks from their previous album and marks Batrider’s first Australian release. It’s an assured collection of songs from a band who don’t pull any punches. Sarah Chadwick’s vocals emerge like someone stealing their last breaths while being swallowed by quicksand, while the surrounding bass guitar and drums form a rhythmic battering in a fashion reminiscent of the sadly departed Bird Blobs. Standout opener ‘Santanana’ grows around a cannibal tribe bass and drum pattern, while Chadwick implores us to “jump from the second floor” and the guitars alternate between scything noise and single note riffs. Batrider employ similar tactics throughout the EP and even when they stray into the land of melody on ‘Ark d’Triumph’ and ‘Number One’ they still retain a bone-crunching intensity.

by Toby Dundas 2006 - Mess and Noise


"TARA review 2007"

Batrider: TaraEditorial Review
Batrider buzz and grind like lethal femmes from the swamps of ‘80s St. Kilda.

Editorial Review
Release date: 13 August 2007 (Nopromo/Remote Control) Acoustic Batrider live is like a dead gazelle hoof for my two ears if they were a pair of hyenas. A disgruntled foursome led by the wicked Sarah Chadwick, Batrider perform magnificent abrasions in the style of punk rock. Their DNA links them to New Zealand, which is so rad because New Zealand is a cool place. The NZ link aside, this stuff wears Melbourne like a shroud.

On the new full-length Tara, named after their tremendous drummer, the mood is bleak, the instrumentation strong and unrelenting, and the lyrics maggoty. The recording, packed with doom-laden power chords, punches a hole in the speaker and probably stripped the paint off the walls they recorded this stuff in. It's highly toxic.

The song Thing contains the word 'hit' and like a hit Thing has all the necessary climaxes in it. “Close your eyes and your mouth and let your heart fall out,” Sarah sings, eerily using the same melody and number of syllables as Nilsson's Coconut. Sarah's voice is a Thing of shredded beauty. A brilliant musical breakdown occurs at the 2:42 mark when Batrider guitarist, Julia, proves again and again to be pure hellfire.

Batrider's acoustic foray, Pink Guitars, Yellow Stars, is a total revelation, drunkenly fatigued, gritty, yet goddamn, so utterly graceful. Here the band isn't trying to pile-drive you into submission. Songs from Tara and earlier records are recast with high-strung acoustic tension and nifty elements of suspense. Sarah complains about relationship obstacles: run-in's with cheap whores and guys that are morons. Masculinity is shown the blade.

Performing live their mean, acoustic grace is a feast worth trawling gritty distances for, pointed riff-raff laid out on the Melbourne music Serengeti.

Tracks:
1. What's The Point
2. Dad
3. Drought
4. I Never Feel Like I'm Here
5. Bounce
6. Celebrate
7. Flies
8. Thing
9. Legs
10. Trouble

BY Shane Moritz, October 2007 - Canberra City Search


"HOMIE GNOMIE "Song of the Day" USA review 2009"

Song of the Day: Homie Gnomie by Batrider
A Fresh Song Every Weekday
Story by Pete Dulin.
Published: Friday, August 7, 2009

http://presentmagazine.com/full_content.php?article_id=2401&full=yes&pbr=1

From the lush pastures of Wellington, New Zealand, Batrider headed to Melbourne, Australia to make some righteous noise. The four-piece band, fronted by singer Sarah Mary Chadwick, is reputed to have put on cathartic shows that helped fans work grief and anxiety out of their system. Getting antsy, Batrider relocated to Adelaide where they picked up Stephanie Crase, the shredding lead guitarist of slacker-rockers No Through Road. With Crase in tow, Batrider moved up to London.
Working up fresh songs, they released Why We Can't Be Together (Low Transit Industries) in late June 2009 and the album has earned a decent smattering of praise from those in the know.

"Homie Gnomie" is the lead single. Sparsely built with a basic beat and splash of tambourine, the acid vocal pours in like cold rain through a hole in the roof. Guitars ring in midway through the song and jolt the song to life. Batrider skirts along the trail of grunge, but avoids blindly following its patented grinding guitar-drenched sound. Tonally, there's enough beauty and hope in the lyrics, vocals, and faint melodic notes to allow some daylight to combat bleakness.
Other standout tracks include the low-key mumble of "Womble" that lights up with jangly guitars working a hook in deep, the stark remoteness of "Ha Ha" roused awake with crashing cymbals and jittery guitars, and "Let Me In To Down Below" working under the skin with predatory drumming, guitars wailing like sirens and alarms, and a chilling vocal digging into the mix with the precision of an ice pick. Like Sonic Youth, The Pixies, early music by The Verlaines? Batrider's got something on Why We Can't Be Together that makes a strong case for getting to know each other better.
Mark your calendars. You've been forewarned. Batrider performs November 3, 2009, 8 PM at The Pistol Social Club in the West Bottoms. Until then, give'em a listen and buy their record if it grabs you. - Present Magazine Kansas City


"BATRIDER INTERVIEW Mess+Noise AUS Sept 2009"

http://www.messandnoise.com/articles/3738914

FEATURED ARTICLES

Batrider

DOUG WALLEN speaks to Sarah Chadwick from Melbourne expats Batrider about their relocation to London, their ever-evolving line-up and why their new album 'Why We Can’t Be Together' is a natural progression of their sound.

Having formed as a quartet in Wellington in 2002, Batrider later stationed themselves in Melbourne, where they built a confronting live presence and released a visceral debut LP (2007’s Tara).
Now settled in London and scaled back to a trio, the band has led an itinerant existence that’s left singer-guitarist Sarah Chadwick the only original member. They’re now completed by bassist Sam Featherstone and drummer Stephanie Crase on the shaggy new LP Why We Can’t Be Together recorded with Hit the Jackpot’s Kynan Lawlor on a trip to Adelaide last year. No longer drenched in anguished screams and a deafening onslaught, the band’s lurching songs are suddenly exposed to the world, right down to Chadwick’s sandpaper vocals and reflective first-person lyrics.
Batrider have been based in three different countries so far.

How do they compare to each other in terms of running a band?

I think they’re really similar. Apart from the basic logistics of the places, the feeling of settling into Melbourne was remarkably similar to settling into London. Relocating is easier the more you do it. My hardest move ever is still moving to Wellington from Hamilton in New Zealand when I was 18 or 19. It all gets easier from there. I’ve been surprised by each place; things that you think are going to be good and easy aren’t, and things that you think are going to be difficult are easy.

London is an expensive city to live in, and I’m sure the music scene is competitive. Have those been barriers for the band?

It’s definitely expensive. There’s a massively negative view of London for music, especially from Melbourne, because Melbourne has reputedly such a good music scene. It’s kind of warranted but also unwarranted. I reckon anyone can make any place good for them. A place is what you make it. London’s definitely got fewer good bands that I would actually listen to, whereas in Melbourne I quite liked most bands that did well. Definitely it’s pretty shit for music. [Laughs] There’s no sugar-coating that at all. But I wouldn’t want to write off our time here, because it’s been invaluable in a lot of ways. It’s worked really well for us.

Have you found any kindred spirits there?

Not at all, musically. [Laughs] This is going to sound like bullshit, but I like that about it. I dislike that about Melbourne, the feeling that there is such a flourishing music scene that if you’re a band, you need to become part of that to be part of something. London’s so fucking uninspiring in terms of good music, [but] I like the feeling of being isolated. I think it has freed us up in terms of what we sound like as a band.

Obviously a big bonus is the proximity to Europe.

Definitely that’s been one of the best things. It’s been amazing. We’ve done three two-month tours of Europe since we’ve been over here. As much as I don’t really rate London, that’s definitely a reason why we wouldn’t move back to either Australia or New Zealand. It just becomes so expensive to come to Europe.

You’re about to do a massive US tour as well. Have you done that before?

No, not at all. I’ve been New York once to visit my friend, and other than that, I’ve never been there before. We’re pretty excited about it.

And you booked it on your own?

Yeah. The Europe tours Steph and I booked them. But I shouldn’t take credit for America. Steph booked 90 percent of those shows herself.

How has Batrider’s lineup changed over the years?

We’ve always been a four-piece, [until] this year. We’ve been together over seven years now, and by now I’m the only original member left. So now it’s Sam Featherstone, who plays bass. He’s been playing with the band since the first bass player left, maybe three years ago. And Steph started off playing guitar, but now she’s playing drums. She used to play with Birth Glow and No Through Road. As far as lineup changes go, it’s never been just bandmates. We’ve always been really good friends as well. So, of course, when someone leaves, it seems unnecessarily traumatic, looking back on it. But we’re all mates again now. There’s definitely no hard feelings between anyone that’s left, and the current lineup is working amazingly. I’m lucky to be working with people that are on the same page in terms of what we want to do and what we think is important. It is a lot of traveling, so it’s a big commitment.

From when I saw you play a few years ago to hearing the new album, the band’s sound has become quieter and scaled back. Has that been a natural progression?

Yeah. Why We Can’t Be Together was definitely the easiest songwriting we’ve ever done. It came quite naturally. Things were less of a headache and seemed to fall into place more quickly. It definitely felt like a conscious disregard of what people expected, in terms of aggression and loudness. That became a bit annoying for me. There was a time when it felt like everything had to be so aggressive to live up to what people expected. So I felt like the album does its own thing. It’s definitely, for me, a bit more of a diary entry. The subject matter and the ideas behind a lot of the songs are really personal and really specific to me.

The album is also fairly long. There are 14 tracks plus two hidden ones.

The album was chosen from about 36 songs we had recorded. A lot of the albums I like, like old Sebadoh and Pavement albums, they’re all like 18 songs. Maybe more by today’s standards it’s a long album. But I felt like we culled it to a list [of songs that] was a lot of do with balancing the album and the different tones of the songs. The two hidden tracks are definitely superfluous, but I really, really like them. For me, [with] longer albums, it’s more satisfying because you’ll find a song you like maybe a year after listening to it. I was a bit confused about the whole point of an album, being that it seems like no one really buys them. But Matt Banham from No Through Road talked me around. It’s also made me feel less guilty about putting more songs on it, because we’re doing it for ourselves.

You’ve got a distinctly scratchy singing voice that’s very similar to your speaking voice. Are you comfortable with your singing?

Yeah. It took me a couple years just to come to terms with my normal accent. Listening to old recordings, I can hear myself trying to mask imperfections. Never so much as some people, though. I can feel myself getting more and more used to the bungness of my singing, and enjoying that. I made a pretty upsetting discovery on this last European tour that I can smoke as many cigarettes as I like and not ruin my voice, which might be one of the most dangerous things I’ve discovered. [Laughs] In the old days, I used to lose my voice heaps. But now that I don’t really stress out about it, I never seem to. For me, it adds to not trying to be something you’re not. I hate when people like Devendra Banhart put on intense singing voices. I don’t like it when it sounds like acting. That’s why actors shouldn’t be musicians.
That goes back to the band being something you’re doing for yourself.

“There’s kind of a cold comfort in that, no matter what happens, I’ll have the knowledge that we did it our way and I sang the way that God intended. I don’t think I’m a singer by any stretch, but I reckon [it’s best] doing it the way it was meant to be and not putting too much polish on it.

+
Why We Can’t Be Together is out now on Low Transit Industries.


- Published on Tuesday, September 8 2009 by Doug Wallen.



Your Comments

ivans said 4 days ago:
great article. great band.


buffytufnel said 4 days ago:
I look forward to hearing this. I'm proud to say that even I was in Batrider for about three weeks a while back. A good three weeks too! Hi Sarah and Sam!


Ben said 3 days ago:
Listening to the new album, and it's real good. I like it a lot. - Mess and Noise Magazine Australia


"WHY WE CAN'T BE TOGETHER 2009 Rolling Stone Magazine AUS review"

Batrider
Why We Can't Be Together ****

Dark, angular garage rock from ex-Kiwi, ex-Melbourne art punks

Formed in New Zealand and having since done time in Australia, the now London-based trio Batrider no longer cranks the volume to get our attention. Rather, this second album is littered with decomposed garage rock, set to the slow grind of skeletal instrumentation and the scratchy voice or Sarah Chadwick. She murmurs hypnotically on the worming "Step'n'Slide", and even a harmonica sounds seedy on "Psycho". Still, it's all heartfelt, especially the confessional "Can't Keep Up" and the killed "Loved You Forever", on which Chadwick's singing crackles with gritty distortion. The album gets off to a slow start and lingers too long with 14 tracks and two hidden tracks, but that somewhat befits Batrider's eerie, entropic approach. **** - Rolling Stone Magazine Australia


Discography

THEY SAID YOU'RE HIDEOUS 2004
TAKE ME BACK (EP) 2006
TARA 2007
PINK GUITARS YELLOW STARS (EP) 2007
WHY WE CAN'T BE TOGETHER 2009

Photos

Bio

*** New LP 'WHY WE CANT BE TOGETHER' July 2009 ***

*** USA tour scheduled OCTOBER/ NOVEMBER 2009!!! ***

*** Australia/ New Zealand tour scheduled FEBRUARY 2010!!! ***

A.B.O.U.T. .B.A.T.R.I.D.E.R....

BATRIDER Tour blurb: Batrider never stands still. Since establishing themselves in New Zealand in 2002, the band seemingly lives on the road, having carved a jagged path across the globe overwhelming even the most unassuming audiences throughout Australia, England and Europe with performances characterised by bitter-sweet vocals splayed across discordant guitars and fuzzy percussion. Along with writing, performing and producing all their own songs and artwork, Batrider also book all their own shows and manage themselves. Or rather, these three best friends kind of manage each other. Next month the trio embark on their inaugural USA tour to promote their third full length album Why We Can't Be Together. Culled from nearly 40 songs tracked live in record time, WWCBT is heralded as a major work of "sad beauty" - a lofi gem that works it's way under the skin with predatory drumming, guitars wailing like sirens and chilling vocals from Sarah Mary Chadwick. Think Flying Nun Records meets Sonic Youth and early Cat Power and you're halfway there. Don't miss the opportunity to catch Batrider live at any number of 36 dates across America between October 1 and November 20, 2009

"Batrider's erratic moodiness and bleak world view is more likely to appeal to cultural outsiders and individualists. And isn’t that what “alternative” rock music should be – an alternative to the bland, shiny pap that the bleating herd of music consumers keeps lapping up? Too much supposedly edgy music these days has absolutely nothing of value to contribute in terms of actual attitude or lyrical substance. Thank fuck for passionately malcontent artists like Sarah Chadwick and Batrider."
- Rene Schaefer, Mess+Noise Magazine

new! HOMIE GNOMIE SINGLE review, June 2009

"Batrider ‘homie gnomie’ (low transit industries). We here owe Melbourne based imprint low transit industries something of an apology, over the course of the last few months they’ve been happily piping downloads of their releases which we have either foolishly overlooked or have managed to get as far as downloading banging on a CD and then proceeding to mislay. The frustration and the incompetence of it all but then - hey you’d expect nothing less from us hapless fools that we are. Anyhow give us a due we were quick to hook up to this little gem, a spiffing three track single from the London via Adelaide via New Zealand based combo Batrider. This lot have a third full length kicking about entitled ’why can’t we be together’ which we rather suspect we have a download link for and will be rooting out once that is we’ve overcome the prolonged email glitches that have been blighting us of late. As said a forthcoming three track EP - the spiked and punch drunk ‘homie gnomie’ leads the charge, a decidedly bent out of shape beauty which upon initial listens may (or indeed may not - depending on your point of view) have you recalling a seriously wasted and shit-faced Sonic Youth, the sound curdled and dislocated the vibe very much nonplussed almost recalcitrant shuffles along with such a sense of bored verve that you’d be forgiven for thinking the band didn’t really want to be here, that said there’s a sublime edginess running through its core like words through a stick of candy within which a strange mutated funkiness threatens to take hold, this armed with the siege show of caustically wiring austere chugging riffs (a la Pixies) and the tribal like rhythmic underpins give it the distinct glossing of something recently awoken from a mid 70’s CBGB’s self induced coma. Classy if you ask me. In sharp contrast ’too greedy’ is a gorgeously speckled daydreaming mirage replete with lazy eyed lilts, breezily country folk styled lolloping imparting that feeling that you should be seeking out the nearby overhang of a big tree with which to lie under and dizzily watch the world whip by in a blur. ‘wagu’ wraps up the set, a skewed and discordant slab of bruised bubblegum pop, frayed and frazzled it initially sounds not unlike a seriously worse for wear Shangri La’s before skulking off to pay homage to Dinosaur Jnr. Guess we’ll be wiling away the night trying to root out that aforementioned full length for further inspection. Recommended." - www.losingtoday.com

www.batrider.com
www.myspace.com/batrider
www.lowtransitindustries.com