Biters – ‘The Future Ain't What It Used To Be’ (Earache Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Dom Daley   
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 04:30

Biters - Future coverGoing back to the inception of Biters and maybe before that when Tuk played guitars for heart attacks then he formed poison arrows. The guy has always got "IT" he knows what rock and roll is and has the fire burning in his heart. I can remember being excited to hear what he had come up with when he said he had a new band called Biters and he wasn't just going to play guitar but sing and continue to be that front man.

 

So, when that debut EP hit the streets and I interviewed him for Über Rock about what his plans were, it sounded perfect; when I heard the music (and the band overcame plenty of managerial problems and label issues and even getting the damn record out was taking time), those early EPs and songs like 'Hanging Around', it was the cool 70s glam and power pop meets punk rock attitude with some old school hard rock thrown in for good measure.

 

The industry was crying out for 'So Cheap So Deadly' and 'Hanging Around': the EPs kept coming and getting better and better it was fair to say an album was long overdue. Anyway, fast forward to 2015 and the long-awaited debut album hit the streets. I think it’s fair to say the band had evolved somewhat not totally but small changes here and there and 'Electric Blood' opened the band to a much wider audience due to the hard work and single mindedness of the band and some decent PR.

 

whilst it was a good record it wasn't a great record and I felt the band had already written better stronger songs on the EP's which was fine because they were still better than most bands out there giving a shit about Rock and Roll. So here we are in 2017 and it’s that difficult second album, right? Nope, Difficult my backside - Biters are breezing through it. Trust me - read on...

 

A couple of years and a few tours around Europe and the US the band are ready to unleash 'The Future Ain't What It Used To Be' on the world and hopefully to a much bigger audience again. So, it's almost summertime and as the muted riff kicks things off, 'Let It Roll' sounds like the band have turned back the clock and gone for the more Bolan style than Lynott which was more prominent on 'Electric Blood'. 'Let It Roll' isn't the best song the band have ever written but it's oozing confidence and the sound is right on the money and in fairness the song is easing the listener in gently and with a big chorus they don't want to fire all their guns at once.

 

 

Wow the T-Rextasy is having it big time on the recently released Record Store Day single 'Stone Cold Love', which focuses its energy towards a huge chorus that is Big… and I mean BIG! I love Bolan and T Rex, so this is a no brainer for me. I also like that the band are fans as well, and have the confidence to write song in such an iconic style: it's bold and brave.

 

'Calling You Home' was the B side to the RSD single and I thought it was a better song and should have been the A side - but hey that's just my opinion. I love the groove and the chorus is such a happy place and I love the layers with the piano and simple guitar lick. 'Don't Turn This Good Heart Bad' should have been the lead track on the recent Guardians of the Galaxy movie - it's perfect power pop. 'Gypsy Rose' is more ‘70s glam and unashamedly so. If you have even the slightest admiration for that era then you have to appreciate how well done this is and Gabs and Smith are a formidable duelling pair of gunslingers as the solos bear witness. It’s a fine line between contemporary and nostalgia but if your influences are so polarised then why wouldn't you use that sound? From the double tracked vocals to the Runaways styling of 'No Stranger To Heartache' and as long as the songs are good who cares (I certainly don't). 'No Stranger' is a great song, The chorus is strong and the playing is great and had Ms Jett recorded this people would be all over it like a cheap sequined suit. 'Vulture City' has some fine southern blues feel to the intro as it heads to a more Stonesy chorus before kicking back and heading round again for some more.

 

I didn't see the old school Aerosmith meets Cheap Trick style of 'Hollywood' coming. Sure, it's a big ballad - from the soaring vocals and piano on the first verse then the acoustic guitars and rhythm section joins in for the second chorus: in fact, it sounds like something off 'The Black Parade' (My Chemical Romance) and sure if the Goo Goo Dolls can hit paydirt with a really well-crafted ballad then so can Biters. If there is any justice, then this is Biters’ ticket to the party.

 

 

Penultimate track is a solid rocker in the shape of 'Chasin' the Feeling'. It has licks borrowed off DC when Bon was ruling the roost and some cheap Trick rockin out and with a really smooth production you get the impression that a lot of time has gone into the running of the tracks as the record certainly flows well and its 35 minutes flies by. After 'Hollywood' I wasn't expecting the acoustic balladeering of 'Going Back To Georgia' but it is what it is and Tuk tells a road story and puts it out there and whilst many will have their lighters in the air I'll doff my cap to Tuk and the boys for doing what they wanted to do and doing it their way and doing it so well.

 

Another fine rock and roll record courtesy of Biters and one that has plenty of variety and depth from the style to the delivery of their craft and for staying true to what the band are all about. It's still OK To Like Biters!

 

‘The Future Ain't What It Used To Be’ is out now.

 

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