The Sounds Of Science
Stem cell research, disgraced chemists and the complete destruction of the universe; it’s all on the lyrical agenda for BATS...
Celina Murphy, 01 Nov 2012
Scanning the track-listing of The Sleep Of Reason, the second full-length album from BATS, it’s pretty easy to spot the difference between these Dublin-based post-hardcore provocateurs and pretty much every other artist on iTunes.
Across 11 songs and 60 minutes, there’s not a single song about love (requited or otherwise), romance, war, peace, prayer, revenge, dancing, partying, protesting, going to the beach, illegitimate children or recreational drugs. No Voodoo Children. No Proud Marys. No Super Freaks.
What’s left to sing about? Well, there’s stem cell research, data collection and luminiferous aether for a start. Then there’s bees, lizards, wolves and other creatures. There’s also the well-meaning chemist whose work unwittingly put human life in grave danger, but more on him later.
“It opens with the birth of the universe and it closes with the end of the universe,” guitarist and lead vocalist Rupert Morris says of the LP.
And in between?
“Science.” Morris says. “Science and nature and the universe. The human effort to understand reality and the universe and nature by the mechanics of science and discovery, that’s what it’s about.”
A break from, ‘Baby, I love you’ and ‘Let’s get wrecked’ is always welcome around these parts, but I have to wonder how BATS arrived at such cerebral subject matter.
“It’s the most important thing in the world,” Morris explains, “to look around us and use our intellects to understand what we’re seeing in the world we live in and the universe that we’ve arisen in. BATS has always been about science and reason, and how superstition is unhealthy and dangerous.”
Inspired by a well-known Francisco de Goya etching, the album’s title track cleverly sums up the BATS ethos.
“I read about it in a Christopher Hitchens book,” Morris remembers. “It was the first picture on the first page. The name of the chapter was ‘The Sleep Of Reason Brings Forth Monsters’, and it just kind of crystalised in my brain.”
The track finds BATS taking an almighty swipe at religion, but even atheist Morris is prone to the odd spiritual outburst.
“The actual truth of the universe is far more beautiful and elegant and grand than anything in an Iron Age book by Middle Eastern peasants,” he gushes. “As Christopher Hitchens used to say, just take a look through the Hubble telescope and you’ll forget about the burning bush pretty quickly. That’s what the point of BATS is to me. To present these ideas in a musical realm and just make people think about them, because I’m sick of hearing bands sing about their ex-girlfriends or whatever.”