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Spider Rockets: Bitten

Bitten was produced by Eric Rachel (Atreyu, Black Dahlia Murder, Hatebreed, Misfits, Patti Smith Group, etc.) in New Jersey co-production credits going to Ryan Sambrook and mixing by Zach Ziskin in South Florida. "From both a compositional and performance standpoint Bitten is the group's strongest work to date," according to their people. As a newcomer to their oeuvre I have nothing to compare it to except its own merits.

Energetic is the key word here and with the exception of second song "So High" which has a frankly annoying chorus it's all good fun here in a female-fronted AC/DC with a new decade twist kind of way. There's plenty of attitude in tracks like "Scream" and riffs aplenty courtesy of lead guitarist Johnny Nap although the undoubted star of the show is vocalist Helena Cos who can definitely be termed somewhat of a belter although not in a look-at-me kind of Mariah Carey sort of way. When she says that she, "don't need you draggin' me down," on erm, "Don't Need You", you know she means it and one wouldn't want to be the subject of her ire. I also really dig the melodic solo on "Break" which is juxtaposed with the quite down turned nature of the rest of the song.

Bitten won't change the world but in terms of attitudinal female-fronted rock it is more than alright.

Track Listing:
  1. Going Down
  2. So High
  3. Don't Need You
  4. Break
  5. Gasoline
  6. Twilight Zone
  7. Better when it's Loud
  8. Nothing Left
  9. Bring Me Around

Added: June 30th 2012
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1149
Language: english

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Spider Rockets: Bitten
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-06-30 18:31:18
My Score:

Having released a debut EP of pretty straight up hard rock, it was quite a surprise when some three years ago Spider Rockets released a self titled full-length effort that dabbled more than a few toes into progressive waters. While that album isn't a bad effort, album number two, Bitten, finds these rockets of spiderness in far more comfortable surroundings. Well, I say comfortable, but that depends on whether razor edged riffs, gritty, hard hitting female vocals and an in your face attitude sit anywhere near your comfort zone - they do mine. The guitar of Johnny Nap sits loudly and proudly up front, carving out an aggressive, yet refined structure from which the hearty howl of Helena Cos and grooving bass throb add a real bite to Bitten (sorry...).

Things can become a bit samey from song to song, however it is a pleasure to hear a really good female singer who adds some real power and punch to her delivery, without feeling the need to bring OTT theatrics to proceedings. The likes of the excellent "Better When It's Loud", or "Scream" are elevated from up-tempo hard rock into full on sing along riff-fests due to Cos's ability to bring character and impact. That said Nap is never outdone, with his precise solos providing a sound counterpoint to the trashy, buzzing riffs. "Twilight Zone" adds a little more knowing atmosphere, while "Bring Me Around" closes the album on a mid-paced stomp that is a little more refined and melody based than what has come before it. Having said all that, there's no getting away from the fact that there are (at least) a couple of fillers on Bitten, with "So High" and the slower more groove based "Gasoline" lacking any real staying power.

On the whole this is an album that sits comfortably between metal and hard rock, adding a touch of early glam to make for a sleazy, yet punchy release that gets better as you get to know it, leaving me rather smitten by Bitten.

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