Fusing the balls-out rock of AC/DC with a hint of the US punk scene, Biters are the latest band to join the Earache roster as the label continues to expand it parameters beyond the world of death and grind, and they look set to following the footsteps of The Temperance Movement and Rival sons and take the world by storm with their mix of infectious riffs, hook-laden choruses and hard rock attitude.
Opening with the good-time anthem ‘restless hearts’, the band instantly set the tone for the album. There’s a clear love of the riff, but the chorus is huge and band leader Tuk spits out his lyrics with punkish attitude, something that is made explicit on ‘1975’ where he sings “I wanna rock ‘n’ roll all night like it’s 1975”, effortlessly referencing Kiss and Guns ‘n’ roses in the same breath. It’s a cracking one-two punch with which to start an album and you can imagine that the live performances must be considerably more raucous than the studio incarnation. Crafting a Joan Jett / AC/DC hybrid on ‘Heart fulla rock n roll’, the band trade crunchy riffs, lyrics that would be ludiscrously clichéd if they weren’t so heartfelt and huge melodies to grand effect and you can imagine this capturing the imagination of the kids with its simple yet painfully addictive formula. ‘Dreams don’t die’ is a hard-hitting slab of sugar-coated power pop with its skewed melodies and driving beat and then the title track starts up a riot whilst referencing Free (it’s alright now) and recalling the early days of the Manic Street Preachers with its slick riffing and ecstatic melodies.
A short album, we’re already half way through when we hit ‘the kids aren’t alright’ which, rather than being an Offspring cover, shifts from piano-led ballad to full-tilt rocker in a matter of seconds. It’s suitably anthemic and it gives way to album highlight ‘low lives in hi definition’, a sneering guns ‘n’ roses-esque rocker delivered with plenty of panache. Another low-slung rocker, ‘Time to bleed’ lyrically hints at a sneaking admiration for Bon Jovi whist the chorus has a hook that could reel in a whale. Next up is the manic ‘loose from the noose’ which cheekily recalls the Kinks before heading off in a glam direction with the layered harmonies of the chorus. The album concludes with ‘space age wasteland’, a fun, Thin Lizzy loving blast of glam-infused hard rock.
Aptly named, Biters are a rock ‘n’ roll band with attitude in spades and it’s easy to see that their live shows must be raucous indeed. Rooted in the hard rock of the seventies but viewed through a lens that takes in punk and even hints of alternative, ‘Electric blood’ is a fine album for those who like their music hot, heavy and sleazy. The album is, perhaps, a touch on the slick side in terms of production, and there’s often the feeling that the same songs would translate better on stage, but this is, on the whole, an impressive album from a group of rock ‘n’ roll outlaws from whom, I suspect, we’ll be hearing a whole lot more in the future. With plenty of memorable melodies and a whole host of references to the greatest artists of the hard rock scene including G’n’R, Bowie, Kiss and more, ‘Electric blood’ is a rock solid slab album that will undoubtedly end up being the soundtrack of the coming autumn. Watch this space – these guys are liable to be huge!