The Upshot: In the hands of these Georgia not-so-good-ol’-boys, the the pre-punk era of power pop, Detroit rock and British glam never sounded sweeter.
BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Let’s hear it for the rock & roll true believers, the dreamers, schemers and laser light beamers who never gave up on the power of the riff, the chord, the slogan – the life-giving essence of rock & roll. Biters swim deep in the pool bubbling up from that particular fountain of youth on the Atlanta quartet’s latest LP Electric Blood. Big melodies, bigger choruses and a heart full of love for all things rawk power these cuts, with an emphasis on the pre-punk era of power pop, Detroit rock and British glam.
“I wanna rock and roll tonight/Like it’s 1975,” declares bandleader Tuk (formerly of the late, lamented Heart Attacks), and he couldn’t be more accurate. Or happier to be standing to be in front of an amp with an axe in his hands – nearly every song proclaims a joyous bravado that makes AC/DC sound like angst-ridden indie rockers. “Oh yeah! All right! It’s good to be alive!” proclaims the chorus of “Restless Hearts.” The title track, “Dreams Don’t Die” and, naturally, “Heart Fulla Rock n Roll” express similar sentiments, as loudly and hookily as possible.
Not everything comes up black roses in Biters’ world – “Loose From the Noose” and “Time to Bleed” betray restlessness and desperation, while “Low Lives in High Definition” and “The Kids Ain’t Alright” lament the increasing artificiality and commoditization of rock, the latter with the angry quip “How’d we ever lose control?/Now we’re killing rock & roll!” But the raucous turbo fuel running through the band’s veins makes surrender unlikely and despair impossible, as even the streets of “Space Age Wasteland” bristle with ill-suppressed freedom. Rock & roll, after all, will never die – definitely not in the hands of Biters.
DOWNLOAD: “Restless Hearts,” “Low Lives in High Definition,” “Dreams Don’t Die”