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CHILD BITE – Fantastic Gusts of Blood (Suburban Sprawl Music)

Posted: December 24th, 2008, by Pascal Ansell

The press release for Child Bite’s brilliantly-titled second album is refreshingly modest. None of this ‘landmark album’ rubbish, just a sigh of annoyance at the pointless “‘post-post-post’ suffixes” that have been slapped upon them. A heck of a lot of music I find interesting is notoriously difficult to label, but personally that’s what makes it worthwhile listening.

Child Bite hail from Detroit, Michigan and I’d say they don’t sound unlike the various ‘spastic’ and ‘abrasive’ epithets used to describe them. You wouldn’t be wrong in noting punchy keyboard and guitar riffs with twisting melodies and eerie yelps. Songs are intricately written and put together but never sound contrived or self-consciously clever.

There is a general feel of a horrorshow to Fantastic Gusts of Blood – due to the jarringly high guitar lines and freaky shrieks from singer Shawn Knight. The vocals can get a tad annoying but the ridiculous yelps are mostly bearable. The song Banana Gorgon sees Child Bite at their most impressive. A winding riffs rips its way through an utterly infectious song and gains from the repeat button. Other efforts on the album come close to this brilliance but not close enough.

Not only has this got my favourite album title for a good stretch but the cover art is brilliant. The fold-out sleeves reveal primal scrawls, naked ladies and snakes… Cool!

This is hardly a spectacular album but it commits no crimes against humanity: unoriginality, tedium or triteness fail to present themselves into a single bar in these decent ten tracks. Their difficulty with overeager journalists (and their often being misunderstood) just means Child Bite are running a particularly individualistic streak.

Child Bite

Pascal Ansell

Pascal Ansell

Pascal is a fearsome, hungry giant trapped in the body of a hyperactive boy. On a mission to waste no more than 14 seconds per day, he bounds from activity to activity like a deer being chased by a cheetah. Follow him now, as in ten year's time he'll be a leading voice in something or other. He's also writing down every word you say in a small book so watch out!


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