A Little Bitter Heavy Metal / Co. Tyrone
A LITTLE BITTER are easily one of my favourite bands at the moment and have been since the day I only by chance picked up their 2006 debut album ‘The Blood’ in SENTINEL RECORDS. It has been on steady rotation in my gaff ever since. Their 2009 follow-up, ‘New Daw Evolution’, has probably got even more spins since its release.
A LITTLE BITTER are a Power-Trio from Coalisland, Co. Tyrone, formed in 2004. Jonny and Seamy have been playing together since the early 1990’s in a number of different bands. PUBLIC DISORDER, RIOT ACT and in a previous line-up also called A LITTLE BITTER with Jonny on drums and Jonny Farrel on guitar and vocals. This ALB-(Mk.1) came to an end when they all moved on to college. Jonny and Seamy eventually started playing together again in 2000. It took them a few years to find regular drummer in the form of Anthony ‘Keg’ Campbell who joined in June 2004 and they decided to recycle their old band name, A LITTLE BITTER. Pretty much from the get-go they set a high standard for themselves. Releasing their first ‘A Little Bitter EP’ in December of that year and quickly following with two more releases in 2005. The ‘Misconstrued EP’ and ‘Nothing EP’. All the tracks from these three EP’s eventually found their way onto the bands 2006 debut album ‘The Blood’ either re-written, re-arranged, re-recorded or re-mixed plus a few new tracks to round out the album.
Darren Pilkington joined the line-up in May 2007 replacing Campbell who left a couple of menths prior. 2009 saw the release of their second album ‘New Dawn Evolution’. Tracks like ‘Dark Tide’ and ‘Razed’ are addictive, with their catchy riffs and sing-along lyrics. A slightly heavier approach was used for some of the songs such as opener ‘Battlesong’ and ‘Genghis’, which definitely added some extra weight to their already rock-solid sound. And on the opposite side of the scale, ‘Twist Her’, a well placed and effective acoustic ballad to close the album. All combined, it’s an outstanding release that deserves to be heard by all fans of good hard rock and metal.
All three EP’s and both albums were recorded at Manor Park Studios with the excellent Neal Calderwood (CLUTCH, THE ANSWER) handling production duties. With each release marking a notable improvement to their already proffesional approach. The quality of the songwriting, musicianship, recording, production and even the CD packaging is about as professional as you can get. So given the fact that the band are unsigned and have gone down the self-release road, it’s a testament to their dedication to honest, hard rocking, quality music.
Writing has begun for limited to 100 copies ‘Sap/Jar Of Flies’ style acoustic EP due to be released later this year. They also plan to record and release their third full-length album next year in 2012. Hoping to again enlist the services of Neal Calderwood to record and produce. The band have made both their current albums plus a couple of other cover version recordings available to stream on their Soundcloud page. So do yourselves a favour and have a listen to the embedded players below. Then go and buy them both, if you haven’t already got them, from the bands Bigcartel page for the bargain price of a paultry £5 a piece.
The lads are also members of the tribute/covers band FOOL FIGHTERS.
Heavy Metal, Rock
- Jonny Armstrong - Vocals/Guitar
- Darren Pilkington - Drums
- Seamy Donnelly - Bass/Vocals
- Anthony 'Keg' Campbell - Drums