The Bats have flapped back into the belfry with new album

Another reason to be cheerful.

New Zealand’s brainy chime-rockers The Bats have flapped back into the belfry, with a brand-new album, “Free All The Monsters,” their first in three years, hitting these shores on Nov. 22.

More good news: It’s being released on their classic old imprint Flying Nun Records, a label that’s been defining the Kiwi sound for three decades. Currently, the group is heading out on a homeland tour that’s celebrating Flying Nun’s prestigious 30th Anniversary.

Bandleader Robert Scott has stayed busy with several side projects over the years, including reunions with his old outfit The Clean. But he’s maintained his original Bats lineup throughout that time, as well, including fellow guitarist/vocalist Kaye Woodward, bassist Paul Grant and drummer Malcolm Grant.

In keeping with their wonderfully eccentric worldview, the band recorded “Monsters” at Seacliff, a former Victorian lunatic asylum outside of Dunedin, New Zealand, with old Clean knob-twiddler Dale Cotton producing.

Welcome The Bats’ return at www.thebats.co.nz, and celebrate 30 years of great Kiwi rock at www.flyingnun.co.nz.

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