Since their formation in early 2016, Atlanta’s Bitter have turned heads with impassioned vocals, crunchy riffs, and outspoken activism. The genderqueer band played a slew of shows last year, from Punk Black Fest to ATL Ladiesnite, and seemed to gain momentum with each fiery set. Now, in preparation for the release of their first LP, the group has dropped their debut single “Stay.”
The band spends most of the track spewing angst like it’s 1994, but even though “Stay” is built on radio-ready hooks reminiscent of early Hole and Garbage, any post-grunge excess is limited by an indie-pop sensibility. It’s convenient that Bitter doesn’t waste much time getting to the chorus because it’s catchy as hell, for which part of the credit must go to producer Randy Garcia (Snoot), whose penchant for noisy pop seems the perfect fit for the four-piece.
Such an anxiety-laden track might seem a bit obvious for a band called Bitter, but from their inception the foursome have taken bold stances on their members’ various non-binary and Latinx identities, so it follows that such audaciousness flows through the group’s songwriting. It’s this confidence, especially from such a young band, which keeps me from going full-on eyeroll at their angsty identity. What could have easily sounded derivative is instead refreshing and impactful.
Bitter’s debut LP will be released by Pup Sounds on February 10.
Bitter performs tonight at 529 in support of Sailor Poon and Nihilist Cheerleader. Fellow locals Femignome open the show. Doors open at 9 p.m. Donation encouraged. 21+ to enter.