In 2021, Bite The Bullet sound like a lite version of FM (UK), probably due mostly to Mick Benton’s voice which is not a million miles away from Steve Overland.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Bite The Bullet
ALBUM: Black & White
LABEL: Escape Music
CD INFO: Discogs Info
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Mick Benton – vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, production * Graham Cowling – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Rocks To Stones * 02 Black & White * 03 Falling * 04 I’ll Go * 05 Starlight * 06 You Never Knew * 07 The Lonely Road * 08 Dark Energy * 09 More Than This * 10 Bring It On * 11 Under The Veil * 12 Last Chance Radio * 13 Unconditional
Looking at the album cover I wonder if Bite The Bullet are Newcastle United or Juventus supporters? It is as per the title on the tin: black and white. Unlike the music which is a multi-coloured palette, a sound you don’t hear very often in this musically bereft era we are living in.
Bite The Bullet first came to our attention in 1989 with their debut for Jet Records in the UK (Epic and CBS in other territories). I remember it being a reasonable album in the AOR lite meets hi-tech mould, but it got suffocated under a deluge of class releases during that year.
It was their only official output, and then they disappeared from the public eye, though they never jacked it in, with occasional appearances over the years. And now here they are decades later with their second album. Bite The Bullet’s return is similar to what Escape Music did with Scottish band Walk On Fire a few years back who also released a second album decades after their 1989 debut.
In the past, Bite The Bullet were compared to Mr. Mister and Toto, though personally I never saw the connection. On this new album, it sounds like a case of FM (UK) lite, probably due mostly to Mick Benton’s voice which is not a million miles away from Steve Overland.
What we have here is a good balanced mix of guitars and keyboards, though as I said earlier, this sort of music would be considered unfashionable in 2021. Highlights for me include the grainy rocker ‘Rocks To Stones’, the pure AOR of ‘Falling’ which is the album high point, and the grinding electrics of ‘Dark Energy’ and ‘More Than This’.
This is all very competent and well played from Bite The Bullet, but truth be told it never set a rocket under my arse at any stage. It may very well be the same reason why we never reviewed the debut album previously. There’s no doubting Mick Benton is a very talented bloke, but I think he needs to sub-contract out some of the musical duties and focus on one thing and not everything.
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