Thursday, January 29, 2004

I was planning on doing Ride yesterday, but postponed that so I could romp in the snow. So I was going to do them today, but I'm going to postpone it yet again. Yesterday my blog got a little asterisk next to its name in the Fluxblog links section (an asterisk indicating a blog that posts mp3s) and my hits (such as they are) doubled. Sadly on the one day that I didn't post any songs.

So, today I'm going for something a little more special than Ride. The Bites are from Australia, and the only reason that I know about them is that they got mentioned on the Magic Dirt discussion board (the same place I found out about Tumbleweed). Magic Dirt fans have erratic taste (you have to separate the Korn/Linkin Park contingent from the Stooges/Sonic Youth one) but once you figure out who's who, they can be a great source of info on rockin' Aussie bands.

So, here's the only info page I could find for the Bites, though it doesn't really tell you much. To me, they sound like Australians who spent a lot of time listening to Flying Nun bands, and I see that they've supported The Bats on tour, which sort of furthers my theory. Their first album is called White Lines And Runways, and I'm afraid that you'll probably have to order it from Australia if you want to hear it. I like it a whole lot. Here's the first song (probably the catchiest on first listen) My Heart, Your Heart.

The Bites are subscribers to this somewhat ill-advised "No Bass" thing that's been sweeping the nation lately. I would have thought that Steve McDonald's "Redd Blood Cells" project would have been the nail in that movement's coffin (seeing as it's better than the original -- I'm afraid you'll probably have to hit the file sharing sites to get it at this point). I honestly think that the Bites would do well to switch one of their three guitar players to bass. Take Desert Island: when you have several lead guitar lines it's nice to have a bass anchoring things, and one of the guitars is basically playing a bass line anyway. Between the mid-fi recording quality and the sludge that one-too-many guitars can occasionally create, it took me a few extra listens to pick up on how great the album really is. The fact that the Bites have a pretty inventive, non-show-offy drummer helps offset these rhythm section problems a little bit.

Finally, here's the band's most Sonic Youth sounding moment called Summer Gnats. This really reminds me of SY circa the less melodic moments of Sister, though the Bites may be getting the influence via a local SY influenced band...the 3ds seem like a distinct possibility.

Other attractions include a chance to hear what Australians sound like singing in German (on one song), plus an interesting bonus piano demo for Desert Island. I'm thinking that this album is a solid and very interesting B+ and that they're a band to watch in a big way.

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