Bates Motel was a gothic metal band from Vancouver, Canada featuring Master Bates (formerly of Annihilator). This album includes as its one and only cover their rendition of Sweet Transvestite.
Canada ©1996 Nearly Nude Music (TCCD97202)
Released by Tomcat Records
Total running time: 53:02
Owing as much to the Lords of the New Church and the Cramps style as to early Alice Cooper or Chuck Berry; Bates Motel is a stage-devouring goth'n'roll monster. With lead vocals and guitar by Master Bates, Wee Bullet's pounding bass, Kermit's beatings, and garinther applying the textures; these jetblasters throb with dark intensity.
Bates brings you lyrics inspired by authors as varied as Kurt Vonnegut, Poppy Z. Brite, Charles Bukowski and Tom Robbins. Master Bates also writes in arenas that include Trance, Industrial, Annihilator, and has recently published his first science fiction story. T.O.O.M. (produced by Jeff Waters of Annihilator) is available across Canada (Spinner), in Europe (Nordic Metal/Mega-Rock) and in the U.S. (Sinbad).
Bates Motel has been touring the U.S. and Canada supporting T.O.O.M., infusing audiences with their own mad transfusions on bills of every genre. They have also recently been endorsed by Ayotte Drums. Bates' latest video, A Found God, is Young Frankenstein meets Rocky Horror, now on MuchMusic and MusicPlus.
Noise Level Critical
I must say that I really do like this offering from ex-Annihilator guitarist John Bates' new band. It's worlds apart from the Thrash Metal of his previous band, being catchy and aggressive Heavy Rock with a slight Gothic edge to the vocals and lyrics, but it's far more memorable in my opinion. Opener "Killing Me" has the great crunchy guitar sound that was heard a lot on the first few releases by The Wildhearts, and is backed up by some inventive bass-playing and competent drumming. Bates' vocals alternate from a clean Gothic style (though not too deep) on the verses to a raw-throated, almost Punk drawl on the chorus. Following the opener is "Nothing to Lose", which has all the makings of a modern-day anthem thanks to the chorus "Take me, fill me up with Booze and tell me there is Nothing to Lose..." and the catchy riff which bears some resemblance to that of Blue Oyster Cult's classing "Don't Fear the Reaper". Other highlights include the grinding riffs of "No Machine" and the slow, creepy atmosphere of "Famous Murders". The band's over-the-top cover of "Sweet Transvestite" (from "The Rocky Horror Show") is absolutely superb and instantly reprieves them from any negative comments! The production job - courtesy of Bates' former bandmate, Annihilator mainman Jeff Waters - suits the music perfectly, not being too clean and perfect but allowing the raw energy of the band to shine through. This album comes across as a very professional product which I'd recommend to anyone who wants something easy to get into and fairly original as well. I for one hope that The Bates Motel is open for business for a good while yet! Buy this if you like the Damned, The Wildhearts or Rocket from the Crypt!!!
Bates Motel seems poised for greatness, or at least, cult hero status with their release "Tales of Ordinary Madness". Although the CD kicks off with a flurry of metal punches, TOOM quickly settles into a gothic groove reminiscent of several early 80's "goth" bands. Songs like "Nothing to Lose", "Never Be", "Cemeteries", and "Tragedia" are similar to works by Fields of Nephilim or Gene Loves Jezebel, but have a harder edge that may appeal to fans of other genres. In addition to the impressive performance, the production on this album is authentic to this style of music, capturing a sound usually found on older British goth records. The band clearly understands who they are, what they play and who their audience is. In short Bates Motel isn't toying around.
Master Bates, ex-Annihilator, blasts off in a new direction. This is a party record for the inhabitants of the twilight zone. Combining elements of goth, 60's garage punk, 70's trash, and 80's narcissism, Bates Motel offer up a wet and wild experience that'll have you heading for the shower at 4AM. Hey! Did I say shower? Fear not! The thing that on the other site of the curtain is merely their knockout cover of "Sweet Transvestite".
- Tim Law, Chameleon
Now here's a band from Vancouver who remember what it's like to hear music that is put together well, is easily accessible, and rocks! On the one hand, they've got a little bit of that dark glam-rock to their sound a la Lords of the New Church and early Alice Cooper in them. But they only take the best elements of that genre and do it with a nineties sensibility which makes it sound fresh and new (and the production is crisp, which helps). Master Bates (lead vocals) has a strong, confident voice. He doesn't scream, rant and rave, but sings with a sense of purpose and power, yet he's very melodic and knows when to pull back. In fact nothing these guys do is ever overdone. Great dynamics. The lead-off track "Killing Me" makes you sit up and take notice of their presence. Ever song is original, except for their rendition of "Sweet Transvestite", which is brilliant (better than the original as it takes a couple of new and unforeseen twists and turns).
- Rob/Amy Musil
Canadian talent is popping up out of the Woodwork and Bates Motel is one of the best examples I have seen to date. With vocals that range somewhere between Depeche Mode and Alice Cooper they have a very unique sound to them. Everything from alternative, metal and even pop seems to bleed into their style..."Killing Me" starts off with a pretty piano intro then rips into guitar...an excellent show of talent.
- Matthew Klem
Bates Motel - crunchy, hard rock with a slight goth influence, mainly from singer Master Bates, whose voice falls somewhere between Peter Murphy (when he sings soft) and Stiv Bators (when he's yelling). Bates used to be in Annihilator, and Jeff Waters of that group produced, putting the guitars way up front where I like 'em.
- Jim Santo
Also, check out Bates Motel @:
Main voice & guitar by Mr. Bates
Things were hit by Kermit
Undertones by Sandy
Frequency modulation & voice by Quinn
Produced by Jeff Waters, John Bates and Paul Blake
Recorded and Mixed @ Watersound Studios, Maple Ridge, BC
Mastered by Craig Waddell @ Gotham City, Vancouver, BC
Engineered by 'Paranoia' Paul Blake
Drums engineered by Al Vermue @ Yaletown Sound, Vancouver, BC
All songs written by John Bates with Bates Motel except "Cemeteries" with Jeff Waters
"Sweet Transvestite" by Richard O'Brien (Irving Music Inc.)
Bates Motel published by Nearly Nude Music SOCAN
Keys on "Cemeteries" and saxism on "Sweet Transvestite" courtesy Don Quinlan
Lead vocals on "Cemeteries" and "Brokey" by Quinn
Lead vocals on "No Machine" by Quinn & John
Artwork, Visions: Troy Fontaine
Computers: Troy Fontaine & Mr. Bates
Photography by Nusheen Dhamani
Initial cover concept Bryan Wray
Unneccesary comments by Silkyboy
Vancouver, BC V6P 4E6
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