San Francisco-based goth band BATZZ in the Belfry are relatively unknown in the mainstream, but that is a real shame. They combine “unashamed traditional old school goth” with ethereal dream pop, and even hints at shoegaze at times. I suppose this puts them in the realm of darkwave. Take “Touch the Stars” for instance. The song would easily be at home on a Metropolis or Projekt Records compilation alongside Sisters of Mercy, Love and Rockets, or Love Spirals Downwards. The song could almost fit on the Twin Peaks soundtrack as well. It’s such a tragedy that the band is relegated to such obscurity as we definitely have a rival to Dead Artist Syndrome or Saviour Machine.
Main songwriter/performer Nelson had cut his teeth in legendary (if unknown) band The Hounds of Heaven on Blonde Vinyl Records. Whereas his previous band specialized in harsher sounds, more akin to death rock, BATZZ create layered soundscapes reveling in the beauty of darkness, that is the night. And yet there is a clear Christian message and impetus behind the band. “The saint and the sinner, they can’t touch the stars.” Even the band name hints at their general ethos and purpose: dark or scary (read: misunderstood) creatures in the church bell tower.
The featured track comes from 2009’s Glow in the Dark, released independently. More info can be found at the band’s website here: http://www.batzz.com/news.html, or on Discogs here: https://www.discogs.com/artist/310003-Batzz-In-The-Belfry.