It’s my job is to listen to music and describe it to you (and tell you whether it’s worth a spin or not). Sometimes this is easy. Sometimes it’s hard. Bite The Bullet’s new album, Can Be Anything, is hard. It’s easy to like…hard to describe.
I’m not entirely sure which planet Bite The Bullet is from, but everyone up there is chill, smokes a lot of weed, and believes The Beatles‘ Yellow Submarine was robbed of the Best Picture Oscar in 1968. Bite The Bullet hails from somewhere in present day Northern Europe. But they look and sound like they were abducted from Woodstock by hippie aliens, cryogenically frozen, and returned to Earth in 2013 so that we music lovers never forget the roots of our favorite modern rock n’ roll.
Bite The Bullet isn’t metal. They’re not even hard rock. Bite The Bullet self-identify as “fuzz rock.” I’m not into labels because they tend to divide us Decibel Geeks into armed camp when we should be united. But if you find labels helpful, Bite The Bullet is maybe something like modern day “stoner rock.”
Bite The Bullet is stripped down in the same way Blind Melon or the White Stripes are stripped down. The production is designed to sound fuzzy or vinyl-like. The guitar, bass, drums, and amplification are decidedly vintage. How vintage? Like, The Beatles‘ Magical Mystery Tour vintage. And they pull it off brilliantly.
As for Bite The Bullet’s songwriting, the melodies are “spacey,” a la Hawkwind, but not as heavy. There’s no up tempo power rock guitar riffs or drumming. No screaming. Nothing aggressive. Bite The Bullet isn’t trying to convey anger or aggression. The overall vibe is along the lines of Lenny Kravitz at his most “stoney.”
Not unlike Bite The Bullet’s previous albums, Can Be Anything is a portal back to a different time. They should have named it, Songs To Plug In Your Lava Lamp And Smoke A Bowl To, Volume III. It’s a good album. But I have to admit this is my least favorite Bite The Bullet record. I’m a guitar addict. To me, a little guitar crunch is a prerequisite. And if you’re on this website, I suspect you and I share this opinion. But this time around, Bite The Bullet somewhat muted the guitar sound and replaced it with piano, synth, and horns. They’ve become kinda poppy and danceable. Again, it’s good. It’s just not as good as their previous two albums, Bite The Bullet and Wheels.
Here’s the official music video from “Any Other Way” off the new album Can Be Anything:
But for my ears, this is a better representation of the things Bite The Bullet does so well – it’s the title track from their previous album, Wheels: