CHILD BITE / BIG BEAR: Split: 7″

As soon as the needle hits the groove, I hear what I think to be saxophone. Immediately, I check the back of the sleeve, and sure enough, that’s a saxophone I hear. One of the most maligned instruments in pop music, and certainly in punk rock, has the luxury of kicking off the Child Bite side. These hirsute Detroit gentlemen play some moody indie rock, both complex and groovy, that’s accented by hoarse vocals that call to mind Archers Of Loaf’s Eric Bachman and that ever-present saxophone humming throughout, adding some bottom to the mix. I can’t think of another band to compare it to right now, but I like it. And if you’ve got a soft spot in your heart for something new and a little bit different, then I think you might like this, too. The Big Bear side is lady-fronted, keyboard-heavy, bare bones and angular. The keys on here sound like they’re straight out of the golden age of arcade games. The guitar work sounds like some of Tom Verlaine’s more sharp and jagged moments. Big Bear comes across as a little less intriguing than the Child Bite side, but still a nice pairing here. Hand numbered, limited to 500, on clear green vinyl, with really engrossing and colorful album artwork as well.

 –Jeff Proctor (Joyful Noise)