Child Bite – Fantastic Gusts of Blood
Record Label: Suburban Sprawl
Release Date: September 2, 2008
There’s a thin line between what's acceptably insane and what's unlistenably insane, and Child Bite walk that line well, managing at all times to stay on the “interesting” side of the equation. Sure, these vocals might nauseate you the first time you hear them, or the second or the third, but that’s okay because they were definitely meant to. Just like it was with the Blood Brothers before them, the group put a great deal of effort into making their music sound pretty musical, and then just add a level of chaos on top in the “singing department.”
Well, I’ll take a step back. You couldn’t call this music normal by any definition of the word. “Never-Ending Mountain Slammer” (besides the fact that it’s called “Never Ending Mountain Slammer”) sounds like what I would imagine indie rock is like on Mars. It’s either the ridiculous keyboards that glaze the main riff or the urgency and overall Ballroom Blitzness of the vocals, but this track will make you feel like you are starting to go insane. Especially if you put this beast on headphones and surround yourself in the madness. I’d practice caution.
A definite highlight, “Barracouta Mouth”, holds up the back end of the album. With its chromatic, bluesy punk riff, it sounds like a criminally insane version of X and it really sucks that it ends before the 2 minute mark. The whole album clocks in at about a half hour, too, which can be seen as sort of a let down (because by the time you get to the last track, you’re pretty into it) or a blessing (because what else could really happen on this album?) Either way, there’s no slack in the bombast – the album goes out just as whacky as it came in.
Selling points in the Child Bite sound should be their fuzzed out basslines, their punchy drumbeats, and the overall tightness of the musicians together. With insane keyboard bits over heavy, low-end and slick grooves, they sound at times like the phenomenal Modey Lemon, but a lot less serious. You just get the feeling that this is a group who would tear shit up live – and I intend to find out pretty soon if that statement is a valid one.
Although I wouldn’t recommend this album to anybody looking to mellow out, people looking for a new kind of sound will freak out over it. It’s awesome how groups like this keep the aggression and weirdness in indie rock. Sure, we’ve got nothing against Death Cab, but sometimes you’ve got to be shocked a little bit by your music, and Fantastic Gusts of Blood is a whole shock treatment.