Written by: BV on 14/06/2013 17:49:04

The Aarhus based prog-rock inspired outfit known as Bias recently sent out their debut effort “Biased” via Trechoma Records. Having never really heard anything about them, I set out to read their press materials to gain a sort of insight into the workings behind the band. At first glance, Bias seems hell-bent on fusing the riffing sounds of the 70’s with the slightly heavier outburst of energy and raw power associated with the 90’s through bands like Mudhoney, Alice in Chains etc. a sound that is seemingly on a constant rise at this moment, as an increasing amount of bands seem to be ‘inspired’ by this. So what makes Bias to interesting if there are a whole lot of those bands out there? Let’s find out.

The album opener “Crooked Zeppelin” rings true to both the 70’s and 90’s with its raw sounding riffing and a song structure that basically oozes of quiet verse / loud chorus. The female vocals ring with a particular grace on this track and I am actually reminded a great deal of the Danish stoner-rock band Fuzz Manta and their similar blend of 90’s stoner and 70’s rock. – Which is, coincidentally, also female fronted.

With the drum-filled opening of “You Said”, we are treated to a slightly more pop-oriented sound of Bias where, though the overdriven sounds are plentiful, the vocals are soft and tender and the lyrical themes seem overall relatable for the general listener – not only the die-hard progressive rock fan. As the album continues, I am slowly beginning to question it – is it really progressive rock, or is it pop-rock infused with progressive ideas?

“When the Sun Burns” seems to prove the slightly progressive nature of the album with its somewhat odd song structure, the mildly distorted vocals and the overall melancholic feel to the soundscape. This is, in my opinion, a bit too challenging to actually be certified as ‘pop-rock’.

So are Bias actually noteworthy in the context of the recent retro-revivalist movement in rock music? Well, to a certain degree they are. Granted if one is looking for a blend of 70’s grooves and 90’s riffs then I would daresay there are far better alternatives such as Fuzz Manta, Wolvespirit or even Wolfmother. However, that doesn’t mean Bias is completely irrelevant, as they do possess a certain level of accessibility that neither Fuzz Manta nor Wolvespirit fully possess – though Wolfmother might.

This sort of pop-ish nature, coupled with the more than decent riffing and the alluring vocals of Bias will most likely prove to be a success at some level as they might become interesting to a larger audience than the one bands like the aforementioned cater to – the somewhat closed, underground network of stoner rock lovers that aren’t necessarily fond of the stadium-rock tendencies that are put on display by Bias on this particular release.

Overall it’s a good first effort, but I must say that the album disappointed me in the ‘prog-rock’ department. Nonetheless, it would seem that Denmark, or Scandinavia in general is playing host to a new generation of revivalist rockers that could potentially be quite intriguing to follow.


Download: When the Sun Burns, Crooked Zeppelin, You Said, Selfdestruct
For The Fans Of: Pixies, Fuzz Manta, Wolvespirit

Release Date 21.05.2013
Trechoma Records

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