It Bites

  • It Bites
  • The Big Lad in the Windmill (Virgin/Geffen) 1986 
  • Once Around the World (UK Virgin) 1988 
  • Once Around the World EP (Virgin/Geffen) 1988 
  • Eat Me in St. Louis (Virgin/Geffen) 1989 
  • Sister Sarah EP (UK Virgin) 1989 

Hailing from Cumbria, a remote northern county of England, It Bites plays energetic, carefully produced (by Alan Shacklock) chart-pop that adds considerable offbeat spunk to the easy-listening sounds of peppy outfits like Haircut One Hundred. The Big Lad in the Windmill has the merry attitude (if not the extraordinary talent) of early 10cc: unexpected styles and noises abound in a shiny rush of giddy melodicism. While hardly groundbreaking, this provincial quartet is agreeably paranormal. (In a taste of things to come, the album was resequenced for US release.)

Cutting three tracks from the Steve Hillage-produced sophomore album, It Bites’ American label issued the five-song Once Around the World, a showcase for the once-offbeat band’s new sound: blandly energetic and annoying dance-rock that apparently takes its cues from Genesis.

Eat Me in St. Louis further complicates the international discography. Rather than issue the band’s heavy and boring third album (loudly produced by Mack) intact, Geffen combined half of it with two tracks each from The Big Lad and the Once Around the World EP. Sister Sarah is a 3-inch CD of an album track with three B-sides.

[Ira Robbins]