Recently, I’ve been getting nostalgic for twenty years or so ago. Not just because I’ve reviewed albums by the Gin Blossoms and Gaslight Anthem (although that has helped) but also because I’ve been getting loads of 4-track EP’s of exactly the type I used to buy back then.
Without wishing to sound like some bitter bloke in his early 40s (I am a bitter bloke in his early 40s, but that’s not the point) things were better musically then, never mind anything else.
Those were the days when the genres blurred, when you could buy – as we did – Kerrang, Uncut NME, and Metal Hammer, and find something ace on all the free CD’s.
The four men in Lovebites (although too young to remember those days with the same fondness as me) understand that there are only two sorts of music. There’s good. And there’s bad.
When a band called Lovebites landed in my inbox I assumed it’d be some glammed up herberts with as much latex as you could handle, and the same riffs that Poison were using back in the day. I was wrong.
These particular Biters are a band featuring ex-members of SHARKS, Foes and Octane OK. Having come together originally as a 3 piece when bassist, Christian O’Reilly approached old friend Jack Perry to front a new project alongside former bandmate, Marcus Williams. In the late summer of 2017, they recruited friend David Robinson, to take on lead guitar duties.
The fruits of those labours are in these four songs. “Tick Along” is a dark, brooding affair, that is the sort of thing that Hold Steady always have on their albums for when they’re not quite ready to stay positive, but this is not a collection that believes in a signature sound.
“Duppy” has more than a similarity with the aforementioned Gaslight Anthem’s second record, and deserves to be acclaimed, but “Just Fall” moves things into a different place. There’s something here that people cleverer then me would probably term “post-punk”. Me? I’ll call it anthemic and uplifting, thank you very much.
They save the best for last too. “Social Hell” recognises that social media is shit, but also that you have to get on board or be left behind on the shore. It does this over the same type of arena-bothering lead that Stereophonics used to casually knock out before they got old.
The point is, that the world moves on. Even this website has a Facebook account, and you can’t get back to the late 90s again. What you can do, though, is still marvel at an EP that would have fitted in whatever the era, because it recognises there is no need for rules.