Album: From Out of The Skies
Bulletboys may not be on everyone’s radar. A product of the 80s LA scene, they unfairly got lumped with the hair band label. Sure, their big song “Smooth Up In Ya” and accompanying video make it easy to draw that comparison, but the sound of Bulletboys is wide ranging. Sure, there is rock. But they also draw on The Blues, Funk and a dabble in Punk Rock to make a Bulletboys Stew.
The band set up shop for this album in Dave Grohl’s studio 606, so the best of the best equipment was available, but would the songs live up to the level of the studio? While I will let you judge yourself, I personally found a lot of great elements and fun in “From Out of The Skies”. Jesse Hughes from The Eagles of Death Metal guest on the lead of single “D-Evil”, a funky rock number which you find it hard to ignore and groove along to, which also is all over tracks like P.R.A.B.
The album kick off track “Apocolypto” really kicks the rock up a notch, and Marq Torien switches from falsetto verses to straight up rock vocals in a heartbeat. The bridge section also suckers you in without you noticing. The title track is unabashed pop punk with big choruses and builds, reminds me of some of the late 90s early 00s power pop punk bands that got great chart success with these style of songs.
“Hi-Fi Drive By” and “Losing End” have the ballad lovers covered, the latter being an acoustic camp fire vibe where “Hi-Fi Drive By” is a pop power ballad thankfully not rooted in the 1980s. These may take a few listens to warm to, but they have their own personalities which really grow on you and the diversity shown throughout the album means it’s not another paint by numbers album, many bands make to get chart success.
The stand out song on this album, for mine is “Switchblade Butterfly”. A totally acoustic number with really beautiful vocals from Torien. He sings “My heart is cracked but that’s ok, I have some glue, can I fix you”. It’s like the meeting of two people hurt in their past coming together as one.
“Whatcha Don’t” has the huge rock intro that made me feel like I was at a concert waiting for the band to launch on stage. And its simple rock n roll stylings make it one of the other stand outs on the album, as well as its follow up track “Get Ready”, which is actually a rocked up cover of The Tempations classic. “Suckerpunch” keeps the rock going but has this great groove travelling through it and a super catchy chorus.
The album closer “Once Upon A Time” in some ways ends of the album in a mellow way, but it’s quite epic in its own right. It leaves the listener feeling positive and empowered. Some people would probably expect a heavier number to finish the album, but when you listen to the album front to back, it all makes perfect sense. I’m not going to mince words, this won’t be for everyone. But if you are a person that listens to albums and not just the singles that make it to radio, you should really give this album a listen. It’s a front to back album and deserves to be listened to that way. I enjoyed it when I did that as the songs were able to breath more this way
From Out of The Skies Track Listing:
03. From Out of the Skies
04. Hi-Fi Drive By
05. Losing End Again
06. Whatcha Don’t
08. Sucker Punch
09. Switchblade Butterfly
10. Once Upon A Time
Don’t forget to catch Bulletboys live on their first ever Australian Tour