Mar 2021 25

Album CoverBatavia
Album: Quite Mean Spirited
Category: Industrial / Goth
Label: Tigersquawk Records
Release Date: 2020-08-29


Hailing from the murky swamps of Jacksonville, Florida comes Batavia, a seasoned duo with a proclivity for horror flicks, video games, vintage synths, and a heavy dose of urging guitar. Ed and Terri Cripps carefully spin verbal and audial tales into cobwebs of angst, love, desolation, torture, and betrayal on Quite Mean Spirited, with Terri’s torch-laden, femme fatale vocals perfectly tempering the musical sorcery conjured by Ed. This results in an album with one foot firmly planted in the mid-to-late ‘90s, and the other steadily in the goth-heavy now, reminiscent of Sneaker Pimps and Garbage mingled with a touch of Combichrist. Depending on one’s listening disposition of the moment, this album could be used as a sonic mood ring – buoyantly triumphant one day or bleak and morose the next. This extended EP hosts six tracks – four visually stunning and storytelling songs, a cover of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Upside Down,” and concluding with a throbbing mix of “Quite Mean Spirited” by Leæther Strip. Of particular monument are the aptly titled “Ab Initio” (Latin for “From the Beginning”) and “Finis” (“End”), a pair of uniquely designed companion pieces that recall the Russian Yablochko or “Little Apple,” a rather twisted military folk dirge whose lyrics change from town to town so much that they are more a dark homage rather than a cover. The concomitant comrade “Finis” is a wonder unto itself. It is a frightening, desperate plea for salvation from imprisonment, human atrocity, and painful bodily desecration. The voice is as jarring as a snuff film finale, and yet the piano accompaniment gorgeously accentuates every grip of the throat as the listener plays voyeur to her final moments. Despite the wicked emotions it lets loose and vivid pictures it paints upon our brains, Quite Mean Spirited serves as a respite for those who yearn to relive their favorite spooky late nights driving down the city’s boulevard alone, submerging into filmic soundtrack vibes. Should you embark on this journey with Batavia, you will be joining them in the pit of melancholy; however, if you pay close attention, the glimmers of hope can be felt.
Track list:

  1. Quite Mean Spirited
  2. Upside Down
  3. Ab Initio
  4. Finis
  5. The Absinthian
  6. Quite Mean Spirited [Leæther Strip Remix]

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Tigersquawk Records
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Christina Z. (MagnesiumBurn)

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