Home Read Albums Of The Week: A Giant Dog | Bite

Albums Of The Week: A Giant Dog | Bite

The Austin glam-punks raise the stakes with this ambitious, thought-provoking concept album about virtual reality, gender dysmorphia and other weighty topics.


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The moment the needle drops on Bite, one’s conception of what an A Giant Dog record sounds like bends like space and time around a starship running at lightspeed.

The biggest point of departure: Bite is a concept album, concerning characters who find themselves moving in and out of a virtual reality called Avalonia. You’re thrown into it quickly, as a calm, robotic voice says, “Welcome to Avalonia, happiness awaits inside” over a crushing synth line that segues into an opulent string arrangement.

The songs on Bite are full of bombast, at turns calling to mind the spacefaring operatic rock of Electric Light Orchestra and the high drama of an Ennio Morricone film score. The album’s narrative sweep is epic in scope, its characters facing impossible odds and certain doom, existing as comfortably with the sci-fi grandiosity of Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak as it does with the high fantasy of Dio and Iron Maiden.

“Within our previous albums, the subject matter, the lyrics are all very personal, based on our experiences — self-centered, even,” vocalist Sabrina Ellis explains. “In making this conceptual album, we had to find ourselves within, or project ourselves into, the principal characters. We developed them, got to know their minds, emotions, and motivations, and then expressed those in nine songs. The songs aren’t demonstrative as in musical theater. Instead, the songs are heated moments, internal expressions that stand on their own.”

Since forming in Austin in 2008, A Giant Dog have drawn in audiences worldwide with their joyfully anarchic performances and gritty, playfully incisive recordings. Though the Texas band has already carved out a totally distinct niche with their existing works, it feels as though they’ve finally found themselves after recording a concept album in rural France. With lore as packed as it comes — points if you can spot all the Radiohead references and name all the monsters — and a cadre of global devotees of their freight train of a sound, this year finds A Giant Dog truly primed to withstand the glare of the international spotlight.

Fans eager to learn more about Bite‘s narrative and its many themes — among them gender dysphoria and the inherent dangers of virtual reality — need not fear, because the band have completed a full-fledged screenplay to support it.”


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