Though a name familiar to a great many, attention on the UK side of The Pond did not particularly have Bullets And Octane as a concentrated spot on its radar despite some ear grabbing, appetising inciting releases since the band emerged in 2003. That was until the LA based outfit played a venue ripping tour over here last year with our own fine middle finger raising rockers Hung Like Jack supporting. It has sparked fresh interest and in turn real anticipation for the US rockers’ new album Waking Up Dead which we seriously expect to be embracing rigorous attention upon release. It is a beast of an album, rock ‘n’ roll in its most rapacious and rousing form and without doubt Bullets And Octane in their finest moment.
From the release of their debut EP, One Night Stand Rock N Roll Band in 2003, the St. Louis originating quartet has been on a hungry ride towards acclaim and attention. Their Gilby Clark of Guns And Roses produced first album, The Revelry started the growing appetite for their emergence, each of their subsequent seven albums escalating the temptation, including breakthrough album In The Mouth Of The Young, alongside a live presence which has seen the sharing of stages at shows and festivals with the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Stone Sour, Flyleaf, Deftones, Unwritten Law, Gunfire 76, Social Distortion, Eagles Of Death Metal and many more over the years. Now we would suggest they are facing their biggest year and time yet with the release of the Brent Clawson (Wednesday 13, Hell or Highwater, The Knives) produced, recorded, mixed and mastered Waking Up Dead, a slab of devilry declaring that hard rock spun rock ‘n’ roll has never been healthier or more fun.
As soon as Bad Mother Fucker launches its attitude loaded stomp off of a warning siren, it has to said, ears and appetite were swiftly gripped; a hold tightening as the track almost stalks ears with riffs and grooves whilst stirring up the spirit with its contagious roar. Vocalist Gene Louis hollers at its heart with energy and contempt, the band’s united calls supporting his incitement as the swinging beats of Jonny Udell punch and Zachary Kibbee’s bass magnetically grumbles.
A raucously irresistible start to the album aflame with the wiry tendrils of Felipe Rodrigo’s guitar, the track sets the anthemic template for things to come and is quickly embraced by the album’s following title track. Guitar and mass incitement instantly draws ears into the almost as immediate blaze of the song, its pulsating stroll and fiery sonic flames surging straight to the instincts to rock out. There is a devious craft and imagination to the song though, predacious twists and tenacious clamours uniting in its spirit rousing exploits.
The calmer but no less lusty When We Were Young has the body bouncing again, it’s gripping hard rock nurtured canter almost poppy but all raw bustle and bite while Burning at Both Wicks jabs and snaps at the senses from its first touch, takes the listener on a bold hard rock infested ride thereon in. As the whole of the album, the songs blend the familiar with the boldly fresh in their individual escapades, each nagging to get under the skin riff by hook and hitting their target in swift time. It really was impossible not to offer up one’s own vocal and physical participation across the whole of Waking Up Dead as proven yet again by the simply captivating Fires. As its predecessor, there is a touch of Fall Out Boy meets Grumpynators to the track with a whiff of Turbonegro, a spicing which slipped through our ears like nectar.
All the same, every song within the album is stamped Bullets And Octane through to the core, the likes of the melodically aflame Fuck You Song and Murder Me Baby with its predatory prowl and salacious swing diverse proof. Neither track quite hit the personal spot as those around them actually but the fact they had us rocking and pressing replay with perpetually fresh lust shows the might of the rest of the album.
The final trio of tracks keep the stomping and thick enjoyment flying, Rolling Stone casting a ‘mellow’, in comparison to other songs, incitement which only needed a clutch of seconds to bypass inhibitions before Hostage seduced the body into a subservient sway. Even with its relative composure, the song is an insatiable rocker increasing its boisterousness and the listener’s involvement by the minute.
Heart Attack completes the release, the track maybe the best of the lot though it is hard to choose. Hooks and grooves ensnare as rhythms jab, vocals stoking up devilment and alone further involvement; the four prong rock ‘n’ roll attack as manipulative as it is simply balls swinging revelry. A great album deserves a thunderous end and Waking Up Dead certainly gets that though its whole body is a galvanic storm of rock ‘n’ roll; a tempest of pleasure we can only suggest, wherever you are, you should unleash your rocker instincts upon.
Waking Up Dead is released May 25th through Bad MoFo Records/Cargo Records.
Pete RingMaster 23/05/2018
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