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Record Reviews
Piles Of Lies

Batrider
Piles Of Lies

16 Track, LP (2011, Two Bright Lakes/Inertia)
Related: Batrider.


They say it’s a marker of a strong personality that leads one to retain their original accent in a new environment. It’s been eight years since Batrider formed in Wellington, New Zealand, and little less before they high-tailed it to Australia and beyond. From then band core Sarah Chadwick has shed all original members, while losing neither her strong kiwi twang nor the lethargic acrimony that has characterised the last three albums of bitter resignation.

Perhaps it’s the fact that Batrider never stayed in a single place for long enough to pick up its local idiosyncrasies or that Chadwick’s accent is a way of maintaining a sense of place – as flexible and abstract as that may be. Establishing herself as the band, especially after the protracted departure of original drummer and last remaining member Tara Wilcox, one gets the feeling this is Batrider for real now.

Having settled themselves in Adelaide after a two-year journey through the squats and visa issues of Europe, Piles of Lies takes stock of a volatile past. Stripped down to the three-piece they were always meant to be – Chadwick on vocals/guitar, Adelaide native Stephanie Crase on drums and long-time bassist Sam Featherstone – Batrider crystallises that bipolar emotional pressure that distinguished them as a band unafraid of expressing the worst parts of being alive.


Batrider - Piles of Lies by Mess+Noise


The slovenly pace of Chadwick’s creative gloom is hauled through each song with Crase’s sympathetic rhythm. The lighter side of the drummer’s influence has also crept through. Her sweetened harmonies complement and mitigate Chadwick’s abjection in songs like ‘Chunk’, while title-track ‘Piles of Lies’ rocks mockingly through a drowsy, atonal version of Crase’s indie-rock background. (She's a former member of Adelaide’s No Through Road.)

As always, Batrider’s distinct sense of humour is reserved for the song titles, including ‘Sweaty Magee’, ‘Howzatt’ and ‘Jan Power’, as well as sardonic one-liners like, “If I cry, it’s just the wine”, in ‘Test of Time’. The neurotic stream-of-consciousness of ‘Come Down’ best expresses the guilt, paranoia and neuroses of the day after too much drink lyrically, as the hangovers and dejection of Batrider’s past and present are all in the sound. Like their unruly approach to recording, editing and, presumably, tuning, Piles of Lies gives you a full 16 tracks in all their chaotic, loose-ended brilliance.

by Steph Kretowicz

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Your Comments

stevereich  said about 3 years ago:

Like


woolfat  said about 3 years ago:

want


equalheights  said about 3 years ago:

Great band, now on a great label.


history  said about 3 years ago:

Sounds really good. 16 tracks? Epic..


fowltonmeans  said about 3 years ago:

now on a great label

Please establish relevance


woolfat  said about 3 years ago:

been listening to this on bandcamp all evening. so, so good.


woolfat  said about 3 years ago:

wait, make that ''I've been listening to ''why can't we be together'' all night on bandcamp. whatever, it's all great! was awesome to see them at Winter Chills and stoked to get my hands on this little gem.


goingblank  said about 2 years ago:

Come Down is the highlight for me. Awesome vocal harmonies and really cool guitar textures!


electricsound  said about 2 years ago:

i used to think this band was crap but this album is really good


happycow  said about 2 years ago:

One of last year's most underrated albums. Still listening to it heaps. Check it out if you haven't, it's cheap on bandcamp.


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Tracklisting
  • 1.   Sweaty Magee
  • 2.   Hand Cream
  • 3.   Howzatt
  • 4.   Hold A Grudge
  • 5.   Just Another Person
  • 6.   Piles of Lies
  • 7.   Things Are
  • 8.   Come Down
  • 9.   Test of Time
  • 10.   Shine Your Light
  • 11.   Jan Power
  • 12.   Chunk
  • 13.   Stacked in the Corner
  • 14.   Chris Drabsch
  • 15.   Silver Linings
  • 16.   Take Me For a Ride
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