It Bites - Map Of The Past

The second outing of the reformed John Mitchell-fronted It Bites sees them blending prog and pop in a tasty cocktail of melody and musicianship. Map Of The Past, the band's first concept album (proper prog!) shows strong leanings towards the 80s prog scene they emerged from, but the emphasis being very much on writing catchy, memorable songs that get stuck in the brain for weeks on end. From the biting riff of 'Wallflower', to the grandiose, tongue-in-cheek 'Send No Flowers', the band easily slides between moods and genres without missing a beat.

It must be said, some of the musical detours are more successful than others: the dreary ballad of 'Clocks' is a bland slice of lovesick nonsense, and the repetitious nature of 'Flag' begins to grate badly after four minutes. But on the whole, Map Of The Past is something of a triumph for the new It Bites, and should prove a hit with prog fans new and old, even if the stigma means it (slightly unfairly) fails to make much of an impact in more populist circles. Dunnery who?

Overall

7

out of 10

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