• Child Bite – Negative Noise

    Child Bite – Negative Noise
    Released by: Housecore Records
    Releasing on: April 1st, 2016.
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    Hailing from the streets of Detroit, Michigan, Child Bite have been around more than a decade at this point and are deservedly making a name for themselves thanks for a pretty heavy touring schedule and a fairly productive recording output. This album, Negative Noise, their fourth full length album, was produced by none other than Phil Anselmo and is being released on his Housecore Records label. This is their first full length for the label, though in 2014 they released two EP’s on Housecore, Strong Waste and Morbid Hits (Anselmo doing a guest spot on that latter release which was a collection of Anal Cunt covers!). The band is currently made up of Shawn Knight on vocals (currently the only founding member), Sean Clancy on bass, Brandon Sczomak on guitar and Jeff Kraus behind the drum kit.

    Death Before Dementia kicks the album off in a big way and it’s clear right away that these guys have been listening to a lot of Jesus Lizard, that influence is apparent immediately. That spazzy, unpredictability that David Yow and company brought to their best recordings is alive and well here, but Child Bite stop short of ripping them off, bringing their own brand of sonic mayhem to the track and, well, the whole damn album.

    Two minutes later, Paralytic Phantasm blasts into your ears with some sludgy bass over which we get a weird wall of noisy feedback. Again, this track goes all over the place, with the chorus really going for a guttural, crazed vocal attack that stands out and makes you take notice. Euphoria Saturation Point is a faster, more concentrated track than the first two, less of an epileptic fit and more of a punch to the gut. It’s focused in its aggression and it lets the band show off some pretty impressive playing while Knight’s vocals remind you a bit of some of Jello Biafra’s dark work (think Lard or Ministry collaborations rather than Dead Kennedy’s tracks).

    Born A Hog is three minutes of artsy, aggressive, almost psychedelic hardcore – which probably sounds like a bad mix but which is actually pretty great. Knight’s vocals really punch here but the guitar playing is what you’ll really pay attention to. Video Blood starts off with a quirky, dark sound but quickly turns into another Jesus Lizard inspired bounce through Hell. It initially goes back and forth between calm instrumental breaks and pure aggression but it’s pretty gripping in its spontaneity. Apex Of Anxiety is an angry six minutes well spent in a stew of stoner/doom riffing and wailing art-punk lyrics that almost make it seem like Knight is in the midst of a seizure. Then half way through the guitars go from sludge to surf, with some really technical picking standing out in the mix.

    Vermin Mentality is a straight up Black Flag style hardcore track, the band doesn’t deviate from that style at all in this one, but they do it really well. Beyond The Dirt is the longest track on the record at just over seven minutes in length, and it spends the first chunk of that lengthy running time with bass lines under guitars under cymbals before a riff comes into the mix at a volume loud enough to make out overtop all of the noise. It’s a bit of a repetitive jam to start with, but Knight’s voice comes in and makes it appropriately weird, again showing a heavy David Yow influence in spots. This is a bit mathy, a bit technical, a bit stonery – it’s weird and very, very eclectic but that there is the joy of a track like this, it takes you by surprise. The Great Ego Flood has a lengthy, bass heavy instrumental intro that shifts perfectly into another track that is essentially hardcore played with an ear towards dark, moody tone. Into The Disease mixes the band’s metal and punk influences in pretty interesting ways, working some shrieking vocal work into the chorus to craft something simultaneously unsettling and ridiculously catchy.

    As the album comes to a close, Heretic Generation takes us on a six minute into darkly calmer territory than what we’ve heard up to this point. The levels stay lower and the band seems to be forcibly restraining themselves until about two minutes in when the chains come off and things go off in a big, crazy, caterwaul of angry, flailing art rock. It switches things up throughout the duration, leading nicely into the closing number, Feed Me Septic Dreams. This last track is a three and a half minute long barrage of everything that makes this band great – the wild vocals, the pounding intensity of the rhythm section and guitar playing that hits you like a whip to the face, ending one of those rare albums without a single weak spot. Killer stuff from start to finish.