The Whiskey Bats - Flesh Eaters (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Whiskey Bats

Flesh Eaters (2022)


Scranton’s Whiskey Bats are aptly named. As to the whiskey part, the vocals are blown out, rough and ragged howling- imagine Tom Waits joining a punk band. As to the bat parts, they lean on the horror side of things, even though they thankfully aren’t a “horror punk” band. The title track of Flesh Eaters ping pongs between an Earth Ad gang charge and a Christian Death ominous soar.

Throughout the record, the band keeps the energy high and the songs rampaging. One is reminded of some of the classic give ‘em the boot bands, as there is an acknowledgement of classic punk, sometimes street punk sometimes slightly hardcore, but with an eye on the contemporary scene. “Moonlight Girl” sounds like Matt Freeman playing on a Lars Frederiksen solo record while “Missing Midian” leans more towards the early ‘80s punk/goth crossover scene- one thinks of 45 Grave and maybe even Mighty Sphincter.

Where the band really succeeds is that even though they are having fun here, they keep the tunes aggressive and somewhat threatening, without going over the top. They don’t wink at themselves, which is the right way to play, but they don’t drown themselves in over serious homages or cliches. It’s a spooky record that rocks. If you liked any of the references namechecked herein, you’ll dig this.