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Bitesize – Sophomore Slump

December 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Packing Heat Music, 2001

As a weekly radio DJ for a local station (oh, it’s true) I stumble upon a few fun bands that I would have no thought to have researched on my own.  Usually that involves flipping through some terribly dusty and neglected CDs that have all sorts of horrific band names and cover art.  I can’t tell you how many sensitive, earnest looking guys have given me that ‘spin me if you can handle it’ look from bygone photo sessions.  It just reminds me each time that there are plenty of artists that come out with new material every week, only to further bury the groups from five years ago from everyone’s memory.  It’s sad, really, and I sometimes have to blink away a few tears when bands like the Coffin Daggers and the Cycle Sluts From Hell aren’t getting enough play.

One of these random scoops from the void of forgotten music is this second record from the somewhat zany pop punkers Bitesize.  I think what drew me to their presence was the fact that their cover art looked very animated and eclectic.  Essentially, this could’ve been anything, so slipping them into the CD player I was pleasantly surprised by the quick, bright punk music that sped out.  The trio of Bitesize manages to fit most of their songs under two minutes so that one doesn’t get too hung up on one thing or another.  What makes them a little more endearing than most pop punks bands is that one vocalist (Serano) sings with an anxious lisp while the other (Leslie) sounds as if she’s trying hard not to sound awful with her modest voice.

Most of Bitesize’s songs are of the sillier, awkward vein, which at least sheds the pretense of making us think that these guys want to be taken seriously.  For instance, the charming “Understudy” details the thrill of being a backup actor for characters that go batty.  “BTO (BathTub Orgasm)” is the amusing tale of a creepy person stalking a record store worker.  Okay, ‘amusing’ in the sense that the band portrays it as so, but man is this track catchy with the way the two vocalists quickly trade off.  Then there’s the tale at the end of the record where the group laments about drunkenly kissing an old guy in “Proverbial Old Guy”.  These tunes, like everything else on the record, don’t stick around long.

Check out a few of their freely available mp3s here, including “Understudy”:  Bitesize Site

What I enjoy about this record is its twenty tracks of joyful injections of punk that doesn’t sound cliche.  Maybe it’s also because Serano sorta sounds like Frank Black at his highest, or that these songs give me the grins when I read over the lyrics.  That’s all it takes to earn the Golden Dollar here, for this one’s a keeper for those downer days.  Looking at their site, it was great to read that these guys have reunited and are still doing shows here and there.  I suppose I’m also a bit thrilled about this album because, after hearing this record at my radio station, it just so happened to be coincidentally jammed in a dollar bin at a local store.  This welcome union (and review) was meant to be.

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