Album of the Week: SHITBATS – ‘Guano’

Looking for an October surprise you can get behind? How about a punky garage surf band fronted by Cat Clyde?

Shibats, fronted by Clyde’s world-class vocals, have just released their debut album ‘Guano‘ and like her solo stuff, it too feels like it should come with a shot of whiskey or maybe tequila. ‘Guano‘ is a slab of gothic fuzzed-out surfy garage rock with eight tracks, bookended by two instrumentals. This is not a new project, Shitbats have been messing around since at least 2014, and it sounds like it. The band is lean and mean with Clyde’s vocals slashing through Dan Serre’s buzzing guitars, and the rhythm section of bassist Mitch Decaire and drummer Strummer Jasson setting the dial to groove while trying to punch a hole through the wall.

The opener ‘Fishing in the Waters of Skull Island‘  is a bass-driven surf jam fit for jumping in a jet black 1958 Ford Thunderbird Convertible and cruising the graveyard. ‘Reefer Madness‘ is a garage rock stomper with a breakdown that reminds me of Concrete Blonde. In fact, Clyde’s voice is up there with Johnette Napolitano in terms of power and ferociousness, and on ‘Guano‘ it seems like she has even more room to let loose.

Ego Amigo‘ is a moody dirge that aims to bring a narcissist down a few pegs and ‘Ad Make Sad‘ is a hell-raising punk rock rager with furious drumming from Jasson. The surfy ‘Seaweed Sway‘ once again highlights Clyde’s vocal range and ‘Succubus‘ snarls and drips with a swampy Cramps feel. ‘Let Me Go‘ is just an out and out sonic glitter-garage bomb as catchy as anything you’ll hear this year. The album closes with ‘Goodbye Rock Rat‘ a psychedelic surf instrumental that would fit nicely on the Kill Bill 3 soundtrack should Tarantino ever make it.

This is a hell of a side project, and one can only wonder what Shitbats would be like live if only live music was a thing!

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One foot in the door
The other one in the gutter

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