The Fearless Vampire Killers have been so busy, releasing their debut album just hasn’t seemed necessary yet. Playing for six years, recording for two, and with a few lineup changes scattered in between, these young men are finally ready show us who they really are, and their debut record, Batmania, does just that.
TFVK have reached amazing heights in recent years, pumping out two tours this year alone with Lanie Lane, and The Vasco Era. TFVK was also chosen to support The Hives, Kasabian, and even The Mars Volta, who are notorious for not having support bands on their tours, and this was all before releasing their debut.
Batmania opens up with triple j favourite, “Tell Me What You’re Trying To Say”, which is fitting as it tells the listener what to expect from the record. Upbeat, toe tapping and like you’re on the tea cup ride at Disneyland, the single goes round and round in euphoric simplicity.
“Country Rock” is definitely a stand out track: the plain lyrics are astoundingly complimenting as it feels like the entire track is leading up to the most phenomenal drum solo at the end, but it’s cool, yeah? John Bonham would be proud. “Jacky” is the album’s ballad, and the track that rounds the record off with its country rock vibe. Jacky gives lead singer, Seán Ainsworth, the chance to show off his vocal chops as well as brief lyrical genius. Its stunningly emotional and this reviewer’s favourite track. It’s rare to come across a ballad you can actually dance too.
The middle of the album is previous single releases, “For You & Me”, and “Loaded Gun”, which have already become nostalgic tracks, then followed by “The Monkey Song”, coming in as a epic pop explosion. If anyone can try and pull off a song about monkeys, it’s Seán Ainsworth. It’s a strange choice to lead into track nine, “Precious Ground”, as it is unmistakably the most musically experimental and is really the best showcase of the band’s remarkable talents.
Batmania comes to a close with “All Coked Up”, with over six minutes of instrumental goodness, it continues the appropriate showing off and ends this debut on a high note, showing the listeners just what they are really capable of.
The Fearless Vampire Killers’ Batmania is going to be a summer favourite, yet not a “spandex-wearing air guitarist’s wet dream” as Rolling Stone stated, that would simply be selling the album short. Wet dream, yes. Spandex-wearing? Not so much.
– Tegan Louise