It’s taken them 20 years to rediscover their midas touch, but of late Earache Records have been on a roll. A rock n’ roll, if you will. Whether Dig installed a Hot Tub Time Machine or not is open to scandalous rumour, but the label has been plucking 70’s rock success after retro-fuelled triumph, seeing the likes of The Temperance Movement, Rival Sons and Blackberry Smoke bring home the bourbon. Atlanta, Georgia’s Biters look set to be the latest in the line of acts on their roster recreating the magic of yesteryear, adding a street-smart proto-punk bite to their rock, rather than the smokey Southern vibe of their new label mates.
Kicking off with ‘Restless Hearts’, rocking a brilliant earworm of a bubblegum chorus, whose conception seems rooted in a world where punk and rock first met, as if Social Distortion had rocked out a couple The Sweet covers, Electric Blood manages to be effortlessly cool in its’ skin-tight Ts and tassle leather jackets. All through, the effortlessness with which the choruses lodge in the brain is to be admired, as Biters bring the pop of 80’s hair metal, mixed into a cocktail of the rough, sleaze and cool of The Rolling Stones and the panache (and tambourine) of 70’s Glam Rock.
Swagger, nonchalance and above all quality simple rock songs dominate the skyline of their début. ‘1975’ and ‘Heart Fulla Rock n’ Roll’ overload with lyrical cliché but this is no parody as they swing authentic, with the latter breaking out into a Gary Moore descending guitar harmony and old-school bass-led breakdown. Vocalist Tuk is part-cheerleader, part-rabble rouser and full-time tunesmith, his simple tones knowing their limitations, but infusing these straight-forward good time songs with the melodies and hooks they need.
Don’t go into Electric Blood expecting anything other than oh-so-cool pop rock, and a love of yesteryear. In the heaviness stakes, Biters are more Gaslight Anthem than Green Day, and at times both are brought to mind. With traces of Americana lacing tracks like ‘Dreams Don’t Die’ and nods to AC/DC (‘Electric Blood’) and Thin Lizzy (‘Space Age Wasteland’), this is an album that demands the top (or at least the windows) down, the open road, the speed-dial nudging naughty and voices raised in joyous communion.
These songs have teeth. Biters just bit hard, and these songs aren’t letting go.