Remember Biters? Remember when they first came out in 2015 with their debut ‘Electric Blood’, and how hotly-tipped it was to be the kick up the backside that retro-rock needed? And remember how it actually seemed to succeed at that, channelling the past in a way that seemed energetic and exciting?
What happened to that? Maybe it’s the fact that the number of bands aping the past has hit a major spike since then, but sophomore album ‘The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be’ can’t match that same spark. That’s not for want of trying either – Tuk Smith is supremely expressive and diverse, as a frontman and the well of influences that the band draws on is impressive, ranging from T.Rex on ‘Stone Cold Love’ and ‘Gypsy Rose’ to something closer to Poison on ‘Don’t Let This Heart Turn Bad’.
But whether it’s the general cutdown in pace – topped off by the piano ballad ‘Hollywood’ which might as well be entirely carved from cheese – or the fact that Biters currently have a lot of company in their field, but ‘The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be’ just struggles to really connect. Naturally everything here has been done before, but Biters’ versions pale significantly in comparison; most of these could be originals from a pub band and there would be no difference.
As such, it can lead to Biters already feeling like something of a spent force. It’s not completely irredeemable and there is enjoyment to be gleaned, but that’s in very small doses. As for everything else here, Biters seem to fall back into the area of throwback rock that regularly stays forgotten.
‘The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be’ by Biters is out now on Earache Records.
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)