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Child Bite - Burnt Offerings: Covers And Rarities 2010 - 2017

    Ian Jane

  • Child Bite - Burnt Offerings: Covers And Rarities 2010 - 2017

    Child Bite - Burnt Offerings: Covers And Rarities 2010 - 2017
    Released by: Housecore Records
    Releasing on: May 11th, 2018.
    Purchase From Amazon

    Two years after the release of 2016's Negative Noise LP, Child Bite offers up Burnt Offerings: Covers And Rarities 2010 - 2017, a collection of bits and pieces from throughout their career, stuff that didn't make it onto any of their four full length records. There are twenty-eight tracks here in total, quite a few of them cover tracks (and sometimes with Phil Anselmo involved), and it's a pretty staggering selection of material from throughout this Michigan-based band's career.

    The first disc kicks off with The Will To Disappear, an absolutely killer four-minutes of Jesus Lizard meets Chrome meets I don't know what else (maybe a bit of Clutch?) inspired free form noise-punk. Shawn Knight's vocals are insane here, channeling David Yow and Jello Biafra in equal doses but never not sounding like he's doing his own thing. Brandon Sczomak's guitar work here is equally ferocious.

    With the door properly kicked down, we move on to Stag Thrall and Gang Omega (which features a deceptively mellow intro that almost feels like mellow jazz… until it doesn't), both of which are equally intense and impressive in their angry, swirling delivery. Sick & Subhuman features some really Avant-garde guitar work and some slick bass and drum work from Sean Clancy and Ben Moore - there's a bit of a Nomeansno influence here, but without the humor that Vancouver's finest insert so frequently into their music - Child Bite are dark!

    Moving right along, Prowl features a weird and genuinely cultish chant in its opening with some strange, almost childlike music behind it. It builds in intensity pretty quickly after that, Knight howling like a beast and the band just blasting away behind him. Modern Torment follows suit, it has an appropriately freewheeling style to it, an unpredictability that keeps our ears tuned to it just to see where the band is going to go next. It's a little lighter than some of the other tracks on here but no less wonderfully bizarre. Abstract Interior Putrefaction opens with some tight guitar picking and more of Knight's insane vocals. The bass and drums swell up behind it all and then the band just launches into a full assault, beating you down for four-and-a-half-minutes. Feeding Tube Blues is a highlight, a seriously heavy six-minute mix of punk, jazz, metal and noise. It sounds like a track by The Birthday Party at times, but again, Child Bite put their own stamp on their music even if they wear their influences on their sleeves.

    Stroke The Negative is a five-minute riff-centric track with Knight's vocals heading into Mike Patton/Mr. Bungle/Fantomas territory more than a few times. Carrion Tabernacle, possibly the best song on the disc, is a sludgy barrage that features some doomy influences without ever getting too droney or repetitive. The lyrics here are just absolutely sick in the best way possible, Knight gets really theatrical here. The disc then segues perfectly into Throb Forever, which is a twisting, turning rager of a track, with a bit more of traditional hardcore sound to it than most of the other material here, you can hear some Rollins-era Black Flag in this one. Corrosive Devotion slows things down a tad, but it's hardly a mellow track. Just a bit more restrained, still plenty heavy with some buzzsaw guitar work creating an abrasive sound that works really well. As I Approach The Void is also a slower track, again there's a weird experimental tone to this one, but it works and as many times as the tempo might shift, there's a consistently to the vibe that it puts out. The first disc closes off with Jerk Off Your Life, a three-minute track that again sees the band playing in more traditional punk rock territory.

    As mentioned earlier, this collection also features a bunch of cover tracks. In fact, the second disc in the two disc set is entirely made up of covers, starting with Child Bite's take on Black Flag's My War. They spend over four-minutes on this one and definitely make it their own, paying tribute to one of the best tracks of the Rollins era. It's a little slower than the original but it totally works. Up next, they take on The Dead Kennedys' Police Truck, complete with the spoken word bit that opens up Plastic Surgery disasters seguing into the surf guitar riffs that anchor Police Truck. They do this one really well, playing it plenty straight but clearly having some fun with it - again, Knight's vocals are really over the top, though it's not like Biafra was ever subtle.

    From there, we get two Misfits tracks for the price of one as the band spends three-and-a-half-minutes ripping through Earth A.D. and We Bite. Child Bite's sound actually really suits this type of Misfits material really well. Their sound also suits the two Bad Brains covers that are up next, as they lay siege to I Against I and Jam. Lots of H.R. inspired yelping here! After that, they launch into a pair of Minor Threat covers, with Guilty Of Being White and It Follows. Child Bite's sound is quite a bit darker than Minor Threat but they put just as much energy and intensity into their delivery as you could hope for (and the opening sample is pretty funny). After that we get a few more recent bands represented as they launch into their version of The Suicide Machines' Hey! (kind of weird hearing Child Bite launch into ska-punk territory but somehow it works, even if on paper it sounds like a bad idea!) and a cover of Unsane's Don't. Both of these are done well - there really isn't a weak spot on either of the two discs in this set, making you wonder why this material wasn't used on some of the studio records.

    After that, they cover Samhain's Unbridled, which was also on the We All Want Our Time In hell Samhain tribute album that Knight was responsible for putting together (reviewed here) for Corpse Flower Records.

    The rest of the covers on this disc feature Anselmo chipping in behind the mic, starting with a quintet of Anal Cunt covers - Siege, Morrisey, Chump Change, Radio Hit and Song #5. These are just as ludicrous as could be expected, the first three running twenty to thirty seconds in length. Radio Hit hits the eighty-second mark and Song #5 crosses over two-minutes, so they're pretty epic by A.C. standards. Anselmo's vocals really work for this type of material. The album closes with a fantastic take on Celtic Frost's seminal track The Usurper. It's four-and-a-half-minutes of fantastic black metal/goth-infused shredding, complete with Tom Warrior style grunts - which is just how it should be. This track originally appeared on the Morbid Tales Celtic Frost tribute that Corpse Flower put out in 2015 (reviewed here).

    All in all, an absolutely killer selection of material from one of the coolest, more interesting bands around at this point in time.

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