It Bites
Map of the Past

1. Man In The Photograph
2. Wallflower
3. Map Of The Past
4. Clocks
5. Flag
6. The Big Machine
7. Cartoon Graveyard
8. Send No Flowers
9. Meadow And The Stream
10. The Last Escape
11. Exit Song

John Mitchell - Lead Vocals / All Guitars
John Beck - Keyboards / Vocals
Bob Dalton - Drums / Vocals
Lee Pomeroy - Bass / Vocals

The Big Lad In The Windmill (1986)
Once Around The World (1988)
Eat Me In St. Louis (1989)
Best Of – Calling All The Heroes (2003)
The Tall Ships (2008)


Recorded at Outhouse Studios in Reading
Written by John Mitchell and John Beck

Released 26/3-2012
Reviewed 23/3-2012


… and containers for coins, keys and candy for cuties, that is how this album begins if you look at the first thing said on it. It is an album about the past and about the futility of attempting to go back in time to make your life better, of maybe it isn’t because it is probably up to you to decide what you make of it although the main character gets sort of lost in time. It is a story that is inspired by an old photograph and as sources of inspiration goes, I can think of many that are worse than that one. It is a band that has a past as well, one that stretches back to 1984 although many things were not as they are now, John Mitchell was not in the band and neither was Mr Pomeroy the bassist for instance, the band has also gone through different phases in terms of musical style and was also absent from something like fifteen years. It Bites are probably not very known outside Great Britain where they once did have a top ten hit will Calling all the Heroes. It you want to learn more about this band and how frontman John Mitchell sees things, look out for our article of this band that will surface late march.

Musically they might have started out as a straightforward pop band that could be compared to for example Duran Duran, that is a band that cannot be said to be even remotely similar today. Progressive rock is probably the right words to describe this band and that is in a sense traditional such as it is varied enough and complex enough to be so. The sound of the album is brilliant, and I think you have to have some real problem thinking if you imagine that it is not a brilliantly produced album because it is that no matter what you think of the songs. It is a story that is told through the songs on this album so there is a symmetry with it starting and ending with snippets from a transistor radio of old, and the story is clearly well thought through and it effects what becomes of the music that is split in eleven tracks that plays for little over 52 minutes and over those minutes there is quite a bit of variation I would say.

This album is brilliant, there is no other word for it, from the clever get go to the end you are like spellbound while listening to the story unfold being told through events in time where a man tries to influence is life by altering the past which seems to go a bit so-so as he ends up being trapped somewhere in time or that is what it would seem like when listening to that and also after what John Mitchell said to me about it. The vocals from said Mitchell are just perfect for this album, he tells the story as close to perfect at it is humanly possible to do. And in all aspects this album is powerful and strong, the most played album by far for me during this month and it even steals time from reviewing other albums as it is addictive to listen to brilliance. Sure you say but why do you only give it a 6/7 rating then? Because 6/7 is for near perfect album and there is this magical feel in an album that achieves the maximum score and this magical feel has to be there all the time and for It Bites it is not present in more than maybe half the songs but I was contemplating the highest rating which is something I have only awarded six times in the almost five years that we have been on the web, so you see at our site a rating of seven is near impossible and a rating of six requires an album to be extraordinary and that is what Map of the Past is.

There are several outstanding songs on this album but those that makes a profound impression on me is Wallflower, Send No Flowers and its companion Meadow and the Stream along with my favourite track of 2012 Clocks, that track is just magical. And looking back now from over 30 playthroughs of this album I can say that it is the top album of 2012 and it will be one album that will be tough to beat for any new album that’s for certain.

So make sure that you take a bite into this big machine, it is well worth looking into and I can guarantee that you will not look at any clocks while listening and should you be a bitter soul who does not like this album, then you could just send no flowers to them. And if you don’t hear this album you will miss possibly the best ending to an album ever.




Label: InsideOut
Three similar bands: Marillion/Genesis/IQ
Rating: HHHHHHH (6/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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