Hear that? that’s electricity, that is! The Biters Electric Blood, to be precise. I’ve been waiting for a new hard rock record to take me out and show me a time this good for years actually, which is why I’m cheating again and writing about a 2015 LP. Well, 2015 going on 1975 and I mean that in a good way,
I wanna lose my mind / I wanna Rock n Roll all night, like it’s 1975
I woulda sold my KISS records and bought a machine / If I wanted to hear a robot sing
Let’s be dang clear here, Electric Blood is, in my not-very-humble opinion, fucking great. Yup, I swore, it’s that good. This is the first commercial-oriented hard rock LP by a new band that I’ve liked in an age, sure I’ve liked loads of genre-specific albums* but true to all that great stuff I fell for from the 70s and 80s, this is at heart a damn fine well-muscled pop album. If you have even a single red rock blood cell in your electric bloodstream, there are hooks and choruses here that you’ll find yourself singing in the bath/car/on the toilet/on the job, easy.
There’s an amusing video I picked up from the Kerrang! website that’s an intro to The Biters**. In it they, very sincerely, spout every cliché and ‘Phew! Rock and roll!’ shout-out I can think of, whilst being filmed kicking ass/kissing chicks/smoking/head-butting walls/drinking/loading out, you know what though? it comes over as funny and passionate, rather than old and tired – hey, they’re young and they’ve pretty much got the best job in the world, they look like they’re enjoying it too. There’s occasional flashes here and there that show the Biters are a bit cleverer than they make out too, which is all to the good, most of my real faves do that. I’m particularly taken by the seemingly completely unironic closing statement from lead singer Tuk that (and I kid you not),
‘You wanna run with the turkeys, or fly with the eagles? The Biters are about flying with eagles’.
Check this video out, I believe it is simply unedited documentary footage of a night with the Biters. Warning: contains graphic depictions of drinking, youth being hassled by the man, a cock being drawn on a sleeping person’s face and side boob (2:52, exactly^):
All of which would just be mildly amusing/irritating (delete as applicable) if the band didn’t have the smarts and chops to carry it off. Electric Blood sounds at times like Cheap Trick jamming with 1537-faves The Wildhearts on a set of Thin Lizzy and Heartbreakers cover tunes. Every so often you get a Sum 41-style chorus, a melody that’s reminiscent of The Cars, or a Lizzy twin guitar line thrown in with some glam Bowie piano and Glitter Band drumming; it’s a real treat. Comparisons are only a crude guide anyway and this is no assembly job, or Frankenstein’s monster. What The Biters really bring to the party, and it is a party, is an overriding personality all their own and an absolutely killer sense of melody.
Favourites? I’m really taken by the bass-driven ‘Loose From The Noose’ and the snarl of ‘Low Lives In High Definition’, (‘All the rats get fat off the next big thing / While the sexless gimps all worship TV‘) and the Ziggy Stardust meets So-Cal punk of ‘The Kids Ain’t Alright’. Better still, The Biters totally endear themselves to me by not bothering to put a single ballad on the LP – how cool is that? I know it directly contravenes the Hard Rock Testament: The Book of Coverdale, Ch.2 (5-8) which states, and I’m paraphrasing here, that it is mandatory for any band softer than Maiden to have at least one slowie on an album^^.
There really isn’t a single duff track in this set, turkey runners need not apply here, this is strictly eagles only turf. Electric Blood is not going to change your life, but it will make it much more fun, which is more than enough for me right now. So just be prepared to jettison all your irony and party like it’s 1975/2015 – what’s 40 years between friends?
*try me. I’m bang up to speed on all manner of proto black metal ambient doom metal-core.
**Try it. I quite like the bit where he tries to eat a girl’s hair.
^the things I do for you.
^^otherwise known as the Doctrine of St. Chixdiggit.