Album artwork by Keith Caves
Band Photo by Shanua Miller
By Paige E. Owens
With a sound similar to that of Thee Oh Sees and Black Sabbath, the psych-punk group, Bat Zuppel, remain a force to be reckoned with in the Pittsburgh music scene.
After Bat Zuppel formed in the summer of 2013, the band quickly got down to business to release their self-titled debut album that October. The band consists of Zach Bronder (vocals/guitar), Spencer Geer (guitar/backing vocals), Matt Ruppel (bass guitar), and Gordy Brash (drums). Following the release of four albums over a four year period, the group is enthusiastically gearing up for the release of their highly anticipated album, “Dylar,” this September on Wild Kindness Records. The band worked closely with Nate Campisi, whom recorded and mixed the album at Mr Smalls Studios in Pittsburgh, while the incredible artist, Keith Caves, provided artwork for the album cover as he has done in the past for each of Bat Zuppel’s previously released albums.
The album’s first single, “The Witch,” premiered this morning on Bat Zuppel’s official bandcamp.com webpage, Spotify, Apple Music, and most other music streaming sites. The song begins with an incredibly catchy guitar riff, which then rhythmically leads into the perfect combination of frontman Bronder’s grungy growl, psychedelically shredding guitar, and meticulous drum beats.
Despite the band’s unique sound and continuous dedication over the years, like many artists, they have been greatly influenced by a number of exceptional musicians and bands. Brash explained, “When we are all in the tour van together, we’re always looking for good old stuff on the radio and listening to 90’s hip hop, Van Halen, Mint Condition, Jesus Lizard, Black Sabbath, that song Slow Ride [Foghat], The Stooges, and all kinds of good jams. Zach [Bronder] and Spencer [Geer] also have backgrounds in jazz, and a lot of that comes through in our music.”
Bat Zuppel will be hosting their CD release party for “Dylar” at Spirit in Lawrenceville on September 15th, where they will be selling physical copies of the album. The official release date for the entire album to be streamed online and on bandcamp.com will be on September 22nd, however, the album is currently available to be preordered for $5.
If you haven’t already, take a listen to Bat Zuppel’s newest single, “The Witch” (you won’t be disappointed), and keep your eyes peeled for more details on the band’s upcoming performance at their CD release party and who will be joining them on stage that evening.