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Child Bite - Blow Off The Omens (Housecore Records) Album Review

    Ian Jane

  • Child Bite - Blow Off The Omens (Housecore Records) Album Review

    Released by: Housecore Records
    Releasing on: November 22nd, 2019.
    Purchase From Amazon

    The fifth album from Detroit's Child Bite, recorded by Steve Albini and mixed by Collin Dupuis, builds off of the sound that the band established on their earlier material but shows some impressive evolution both in terms of the lyrics and the musicianship.

    Spoiler alert - this album is fucking awesome.

    Mock Ecstasy opens with a question - “Is this real life?” - and from there gets right down to business with a sludgy, angry diatribe about how everything is fucked and how people tend to fool themselves into thinking it's not. Shawn Knight's vocals are as intense here as on anything else the band has recorded to date, with the band playing tight behind him. It's a perfect song.

    The Stimulus Gorge has a heavy bass sound to it, channeling Nomeansno at their darkest. Sean Clancy kills it on the four string on every track here, but this one stands out, it rumbles really nicely, it's really persistent and it just slams. This track leads into Vexed Life, one of the stand-out tracks on an album of seriously intense material. Knight is at his most Biafra-esque here, wailing like a madman here, while Jeremy Waun's guitar work plays off of Clancy's bass and again, the Nomeansno influence shines through again (which is nothing but a good thing), things get darkly jazzy - emphasis on darkly - on this one to really interesting effect.

    They All Look Away keeps the intensity level high, the drums really pounding nicely on this one, setting down a heavy beat for Clancy and Waun to work with. This track is a bit faster than the three that come before it, and it features Knight just going off behind the microphone, caterwauling like a lunatic and hitting some really odd notes. There's a sense of urgency to this track that really gets under your skin.

    Here's a picture of the band hiding behind a plant for some reason. It was included with the promo materials sent for review.

    Moving right along, Become An Animal shows a nice Dead Kennedys influence, working in some sludgy Melvins' style guitar and bass work, attacking with heavy riffs and a seriously pummeling rhythm section - lyrically? “Mount my head on a wall so I can find peace in a warm home again” kinda says it all. The Wrong Ones Breed is pretty self-explanatory as far as the lyrical content goes - the worst parts of society breed the most, and as such, the rest of us are outnumbered and on the extinction list. Musically this one stands out a bit - we get the standard Child Bite bad ass riffs and sludge but at one point there's something that sounds like a saxophone in the background? Some interesting effects laid down over Knight's vocals on this track make it unique as well. Weird, but it works. Horns up for this one.

    Track seven, Persistence Award, is a track about those who repeat the same mistakes over and over again. The drums really stand out on this one, hammering away with deep, precise beats and really just paving the way for the rest of the band to do their thing. The percussion on this track is pretty insane. Disposable Hysteria follows next, it's got a bit of a Jesus Lizard sound to it, this band works a lot of different influences and sounds into the mix and they do it really well, resulting in something unique in today's punk/metal/crossover scene. Knight's vocals are extra intense on this one, some well-timed echo effects used here and there ensure that. This track is genuinely frightening in its intensity.

    The title track, Blow Off The Omens, features a guest guitar solo spot from Voivod's Dan 'Chewy' Mongrain, which is all kinds of awesome when you think about it. There's a Voivod influence in a lot of Child Bite's material so it's also quite fitting that Chewy would show up here. The track itself is a great way to finish things off, a driving, pulsing monster of a track and Chewy's solo will leave blisters on your ears by the time it's over.

    Without a single weak track in the mix, Blow Off The Omens is Child Bite's most polished record to date, but not so polished that it doesn't retain their dirty, grimy sound. The production and sound quality is fantastic and the musicianship tight and slick. Knight's vocals have always been a big part of the draw with this band and he's never sounded better.
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