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Bullets and Octane
The Revelry
Criterion Records
www.bulletsandoctane.net


Man, rock just doesn't get any better than this. Bullets and Octane is an adrenaline filled guitar bash, pulsing with inspired drums and harsh melodic vocals. I am trying hard not to compare them with Social Distortion, but it is inevitable. There is the same chug-chug of guitar that maintains a bite, there is the same devil-may-care attitude that lends itself to the material, and then there is the movement, constantly pushing onwards with a purpose. The whole album draws to mind cigarettes and Jim Beam with a certain grit that is appealing rather than appalling.

While it is the guitar that undoubtedly makes the album, the lead vocals, with their hooks, and also the backing vocals put the record over the top. The drums are perfect, adding the correct amount of difference, yet supporting the neck-breaking speeds needed for the majority of songs. The bass maintains an apt presence focusing here and there, and not, when a more subtle approach is needed. But most importantly the band works as a coherent unit, milking the most from every song, and making the album completely worthwhile.

Production is beautifully wrought on this record; breaks and changes are succinct and meaningful, and not an ounce of energy is lost or displaced. Every instrument has a worthy place, and is used to the utmost to drive the final product home. Let's just say they know what they are doing. I could talk ad nauseam about song after song, but just know that this is a killer album, front to back.

Now, I know for a fact this album will not be for everyone - but for the rest of us, it will be an album that is cherished for its pure drive and resonance. The faint of heart need to look elsewhere, because there is no bubble-gum sound to be found here. The energy is beyond infectious; their shows must be awesome, and now I hope they make it out my way so I can feel it live.

So if you like that style of guitar-driven, harsh melodic I have described above, you need to have this in your CD player now, not later, now. For the rest of you, well, whatever.

-bishop

Track Listing:

1. Save Me Sorrow
2. Sweet Dreams
3. Fallen
4. Pirates
5. Bring the House Down
6. Professional Victim
7. Places
8. Bad Things to Bad People
9. Holdin' On
10. Waste Away
11. Return


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Mike Doughty



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