This EP of new material from Chicago band Child Bite follows a debut from last year, Wild Feast, that got somewhat lost among the more polished dance-punk from real New York acts like the Rapture. The group’s got a Test Icicles-like frenetic urgency, which is fine since that group has split up (though if it was all an elaborate joke what does that imply for Child Bite?). Child Bite’s lyrics aren’t jokey, exactly—“Look at all those hours / Spent on hangin’ loose / I don’t have time to waste time” has a certain insight—but they share the deadpan elucidation of the commonplace that distinguishes the current crop of indie dance bands. “Gudavia” is the best song on the new EP, with its video game synth bleep like some hidden vampire club out of Castlevania, and a soft-stuttering percussion that all builds to a freakout worthy of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But most of their songs are constructed in a similar way, interrupting the established groove midway for a more sedate breakdown (pause for breathing): while initially effective, it becomes predictable by the third song. And groups like Shy Child are, lately, doing this kind of aggressive indie dance with more aplomb. Child Bite aren’t bad, but without more of a distinctive hook their audience will likely remain primarily local.
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// Notes from the Road
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