There's a sea of rock bands in the world, which means a new tide of bands flows to shore each day, from blithe powerchord advocates to jukebox camp devotees. So when two of your favorite acts team up, it's difficult to resist dubbing them a supergroup, even if their original bands aren't household names yet. That's how I feel about Bat Fangs, a rock duo comprised of Ex Hex's Betsy Wright and Flesh Wounds drummer Laura King — it already stands out amid rock's wave of revivalists.
Bat Fangs is a chance for Wright and King to overlap their musical projects. Whereas Wright's work in Ex Hex catalogs a type of power-pop thrashing, King opts for garage-rock blues in Flesh Wounds, hammering her way through tightly-screwed fills with feverish force. When conjoined to form Bat Fangs, the two create a knotted crossover reminiscent of '80s radio rock. "Wolfbite," the lead single off the duo's self-titled debut LP, sees both musicians rearing behind their instruments with an infectious, almost playful joy.
It's easy to fall for the heady guitar riffs that open "Wolfbite" or King's dance between high-hat tapping during verses and the deep full-kit rumbling during the chorus. Wright gives the song an air of mystery with lines about a misunderstood creature that's always on call come night. What gives "Wolfbite" its fangs, though, is the way Wright jabs at the air with her guitar. Halfway through the song, she slides into the forefront to shred, whipping out a guitar solo full of endorphin-laced trills while she scales the fretboard.
"Wolfbite" is a bold introductory handshake that promises the familiarity of rock artists you love — a reminder that the most recent tidal wave of rock has plenty of momentum. You're lucky enough to catch a ride for free.
Bat Fangs comes out Feb. 2 via Don Giovanni Records.