50thirdand3rd

50thirdand3rd Staff Picks – Album of the Year: Biters – The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be

I can’t tell you how hard it is to say – “yeah this is my album of the year”. We’ve all listened to a crap-tonne of amazing music this past year and I have so many “favorite” albums it would take days to get through the list. I could make a list of my top ten, even though to put them in order would be difficult. Music for me serves a number of purposes these albums all mean different things to me.

But if I thought about which album from this year made me relive the glory days of discovering rock and roll by a band that way more people should know about well, it’s gotta be the Biters – “The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be“.

The Biters are victims of time. In the late 70s to late-80s they would be headlining arenas, jetting around on a world tour, something right out of Almost Famous. It’s all there – the look, the passion, the authenticity and the musical chops, including the wickedest glam hooks you’ll have heard in decades. If you’ve ever been a fan of The Sweet, Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy, T Rex and the like, then give this a listen, you won’t be sorry.

The Future...” is the boys’ second full-length on Earache Records. Production wise It’s a little more polished than its predecessor 2015’s “Electric Blood“, and they’ve moved a little farther away from the early punky backbone. This year Biters also released a wicked collection of tracks from every release pre Electric Blood called “Cut Your Teeth”.  You can still get the seriously limited silver vinyl HERE!

The Future…”  finds the Biters with teeth sharpened, marked for the throat. This is a super solid collection of glammed out rock and roll that beats the crap out of any “rock” band filling arenas right now.

These guys live and breathe rock and roll, and they are even better live than on record. 

I’m sure I won’t win over anyone who thinks, yeah, it’s all cliché and they’re poseurs, but believe me, part of the Biters experience is seeing them live. That’s when the authenticity comes through in spades. These guys live and breathe rock and roll, and they are even better live than on record.

Guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Tuk Smith is at the top of his game – he’s dialed in and the rock vibe anticipation is off the charts right from the start with the hum of the amp and the sound of a guitar being plugged before the riff of “Let It Roll” begins.

It’s like the old days and I’m laying on the living room floor with my finger on the pause button waiting for that song to come on the radio. The chorus is huge, as is the twin guitar solo from Smith and Matt Gabs (who toured with Sonny Vincent – how’s that for street cred?). It’s a song that is worthy of being an opener, sending the message early – this is rock and roll.

Stone Cold Love” follows with a T Rex stomp driven by drummer Joey O’Brien. It drops another seriously addictive chorus and over the past year I’ve had this damn song stuck in my head for weeks on end. Tuk turns up the glam factor for a song that has no business being so damn catchy.

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The Marc Bolan nod continues with the swaggering “Calling You Home” and the swaying “Gypsy Rose” with the New York groove of “Don’t Turn This Good Heart Bad” sandwiched in between.

The monster single and July’s Coolest Song in the World on the Underground Garage, “No Stranger To Heartache” delivers another earworm chorus carried along by a pounding I Love Rock and Roll drum beat.

Vulture City” does a fly-by of Electric-era Cult territory before the lighters come out with the ballad “Hollywood“. The power chords come storming back for “Chasing the Feeling” a rocker with a riff that Malcolm Young would be proud of before we get the lighters out again for “Goin’ Back To Georgia” with its Home Sweet Home vibe. You can almost see the end of tour video filmed in black and white. Biters are a hard-working rock and roll band.

Their story closely mirrors that of another outstanding band – Maryland’s Kix, who were formed in 1977 playing catchy punk power pop before finally hitting the hair band bullseye in 1988 with “Blow My Fuse“. Here’s hoping Biters get as lucky.

All in all there’s no sign of a sophomore slump here. This is just a great rock and roll record by a band that reminds me of why I dreamed about being a rock star. It’s a record that will make you dust off the air guitar and forget about all the shit going on out there. We need music like this.

I know I’m #downforlife.

Read our interview with Tuk HERE!

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Photos by Paul Storr

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