Ireland’s GAMA BOMB have today announced details of their upcoming eighth studio album, BATS; they have also unveiled the first single, Speed Funeral, and accompanying video. BATS will be released on November 10, 2023 via Prosthetic Records and will be available in three vinyl variants, on CD and digital. The video for Speed Funeral finds the band in the aftermath of the untimely demise of band mascot, Snowy The Gamabominable Snowman.
Of the new album, GAMA BOMB vocalist Philly Byrne comments: “BATS is the weirdest album we’ve ever made. It has a guest spot by hip hop legend The Egyptian Lover, a surprise ending, a futuristic prologue, and a crossover song with lyrics by Percy Bysshe Shelley - we finally felt confident enough to take the brakes off and had a lot of fun with the writing. Weird is good!”
Regarding Speed Funeral, he adds: “There are songs on our new album that diverge from the ‘Gama Bomb formula’ a lot, so we wanted to lead with Speed Funeral because it’s a fun, catchy, classic GB mosher. We’re breaking you in gently with this one!
“The lyrics are about something I’ve always dreamed of - when I die, I want to be strapped to a rocket and blasted off into space as my family and friends watch. We’re middle-aged men now, so maybe death is on our minds a bit more.”
From the tombs of Egypt to the faded glamour of old Hollywood, Philly, Domo, John, Joe and James (Vader and Decapitated) lead us through new sonic landscapes and all manner of novel adventures on BATS. BATS is an album that could only be borne from GAMA BOMB; they have embraced their inner absurdities, they’ve taken a trust fall into each other's arms, relying on the idiosyncratic glue that has bound them together over the last 21 years to propel them forwards. BATS is the first GAMA BOMB album to be entirely produced, mixed and mastered by guitarist Domo Dixon; utilising the remote recording skills picked up during various lockdowns over the past few years, recording for BATS was approached with a deliberately self-sufficient attitude.
Whilst the lyrical content veers into various different directions, the album is tied together with a 1960s-inspired aesthetic as demonstrated via the BATS artwork - serving as a visual tribute to the iconic design trends and pop culture of the 60s. The art was created by the legendary Graham Humphreys, the artist behind iconic posters for A Nightmare on Elm Street, Evil Dead and What We Do In The Shadows, now in his fourth collaboration with GAMA BOMB. John comments: “The accompanying artwork and inlay by the lovely Rory McGuigan are based on 1960s exploitation movies in the vein of Russ Meyer and other directors who didn't want to put their name on their films.” Longtime GAMA BOMB fan and accomplished painter, Kirsty Clark, takes the starring role on the album artwork - welcoming you into the entirely fictional BATS cinematic universe.
Sonically, GAMA BOMB manage to stay true to their distinctive thrash sound, honed to perfection over two decades at the frontline of headbanging and fist-pumping. There are nods to heavy metal titans such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, there’s even a sliver of Bad Brains-esque punk attitude, and more familiar influences such as Tankard and Sodom are still evident. But if you think GAMA BOMB
are serving up something run of the mill then you’ve clearly not accounted for the guest appearance by Irish musician Gavin Kerins or a star-turn from hip hop pioneer The Egyptian Lover who raps on - naturally - Egyptron.