The Bats PhotoYet another outgrowth of the seminal Clean, The Bats were an institution on the New Zealand music scene, their melancholy jangle-pop sound and infectious melodies consistently defining the kiwi-rock aesthetic at its very best. The Bats were formed in Christchurch in 1982 by ex-Clean bassist Robert Scott, ex-Toy Love bassist Paul Kean, singer/multi-instrumentalist Kaye Woodward and drummer Malcolm Grant; with Scott adopting lead vocal and guitar duties as well as serving as the group's chief songwriter, they issued their debut By Night in 1984, the first in a series of EPs which also included 1985's "And Here Is 'Music for the Fireside'!" and 1986's Made Up in Blue. (All three were subsequently collected as Compiletely Bats.)

The Bats finally released a full-length album, the stunning Daddy's Highway, in 1987; soon after the group went on hiatus, with Scott participating in a Clean reunion tour and Woodward giving birth. The quartet came back together in 1990 to release The Law of Things, another critical favorite which received almost no commercial interest. Fear of God appeared in 1991, and two years later The Bats resurfaced with Silverbeet; an intermittent series of EPs (including Live at WFMU and Spill the Beans, the latter recorded with Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan on guitar) followed as Scott again focused much of his energies on another Clean reunion, but in 1995 the group returned with a new LP, Couchmaster. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide