The Biters and Diarrhea Planet
with Rock City Birdhouse and Stallion
Sunday, May 06, 2012 9:00 PM CDT
(8:00 PM Doors)
The High Watt, Nashville, TN
18 years and over
During my time on at MOKB, I’ve awarded the Best Rock Band in America title to, in order: Marah, The Hold Steady, the Avett Brothers and The Black Keys. Mere minutes into The Biters’ sweat-soaked set at The Jackalope on Saturday, I knew the belt was destined to change hands again. How did it happen? The old-fashioned way: the Atlanta-based quartet took the stage in that oppressively hot room on 6th, counted it off, and took it.
Remember when rock stars looked like rock stars and not sullen Radio Shack employees? Well, the biters look like Joan Jett’s delinquent brothers, right down to the matching haircuts and tattered jean vests. Yes, you read that right: jean vests. So when you and Heidi Klum are wearing’em this summer, feel free to blame The Biters, along with everyone favorite Venusians, Valient Thorr.
And act like rock stars? This band positively oozes attitude, the kind that makes people afraid to sit on public toilet seats. Let’s just say that if sneers were currency, singer Tuk and Adnan Khashoggi would be golf buddies. And don’t get me started on drummer Joey, who grabbed the 2011 Ginger Baker award for regifting mid song and not missing a beat.
But an outfit doesn’t get to be the Best Rock Band in America on the strength of denim, attitude and projectile vomit alone. The Biters have great songs, but classifying this band as power pop really doesn’t do them justice, especially given their subtle co-opting of punk, glam and hard rock. A few spins through the All Chewed Up EP (get it here) and you’ll recognize influences (including such heavies as Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy, KISS and the Bay City Rollers), but it’s all in the service of peerless pop songs. Pop songs that’ll be stuck in your head long after the hangover subsides.
Finally, You gotta deliver the goods. And believe me, you, The Biters leave it all up on stage. At a point in the festival when most bands were phoning it in, The Biters played with precision and urgency that’s pretty rare under the best of circumstances. Truth be told, they played every song like their very existence depended on it.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Best Rock Band in America. The Biters.