Some bands are destined for greatness. You see them early in their career and just know they will be huge stars some day. I’ve been there a couple of times and seen early shows from bands who now only headline stadiums and festivals.
Other bands you get in on and you know they’re yours. They’ll do good. They’ll get to headline theatres, they might be good for 5-6 albums even, but they wont be Rolling Stones big and that’s OK. They’re for you. And for people like you. These are the bands that make up a record collection. These bands deserve your T-Shirt money and will have you enthusing about them after they’ve gone. I’ve personally got dozens of these bands under my belt. From Terrorvision to The Hold Steady to The Magic Numbers to The Screaming Trees.
Then there are the ones who you glimpse just briefly. You get to enough venues early, or wander enough festival fields you see them. You crate dig for tunes you might like or impulse buy a 7″ because a friend of a friend saw them and kinda liked them and you pick up the unique fixtures and fittings of a record collection.
Given the choice of having a mega artists entire back catalogue or a scatter shot of potentially interesting singles I’ll always go for the latter.
Battle didn’t last long. But I only know that now because I looked them up. I have Tendency in my record collection because I saw them somewhere once. Couldn’t say when or where but their guitar hooks and heartfelt singer turned my head for a moment. I thought Battle were a good band. I then possibly mixed them up with American experimental dance rock duo Battles (plural, see) as I had Mirrored on heavy rotation for a bit.
When I finally tracked down a copy of that great song with the anguished lyrics that was burrowed in the back of my mind they were just about done as a band. They have a very nougties sound and feel to them. They fit right in with The Sunshine Underground and the bands of the day.
There’s an element of The Walkmen and a bit of Gang Of Four in their sound too. They were a brief flash of proper street level indie rock. By not going on to big things they preserve themselves in amber in the mid nougties. This way it’s poetry. Age shall not wither them.