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Bullet Boys - 1988 Bullet Boys

ARTIST: Bullet Boys
ALBUM: Bullet Boys
LABEL: Warner Bros
SERIAL: 9 25782-1 (LP), 9 25782-2 (CD)
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: 2014, Rock Candy Records, CANDY203
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Marq Torien - vocals * Mick Sweda - guitars * Lonnie Vincent - bass * Jimmy D'anda - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hard As A Rock * 02 Smooth Up In Ya * 03 Owed To Joe * 04 Shoot The Preacher Down * 05 For The Love Of Money * 06 Kissin' Kitty * 07 Hell On My Heels * 08 Crank Me Up * 09 Badlands * 10 F#9


Another of the Sunset Strip pretenders to clamber over the top of other aspiring 80's contenders were the Warner Bros signings BulletBoys. there's no doubt the band had a helping hand, and had some experience in other minor success stories prior to their 1988 debut. Sounding like a glam hard rock version of Van Halen, BB had three of their members previously with peroxide blondes King Kobra; a halfway decent band who have a lot of admirers here at GDM. Mick Sweda was in KK from the beginning, and with that band imploding and bringing in new members, which included very briefly Lonnie Vincent and Marq Torien, the seeds for BulletBoys were sown. Deciding to keep clear of the usual L.A haunts where 'show and tell' bands were dime a dozen, they kept to the rehearsal room instead, building up a slew of songs and practicing till it was perfect. Warner Brothers and Ted Templeman came calling, and before long the BulletBoys were flyig out of the barrel.

The Songs
Their kick ass style of 80's rock gets off to a great start with the mighty 'Hard As A Rock'. Clichéd title yes, but the delivery is worth every cent that Warner Bros paid for them. The single 'Smooth Up In Ya' was full of every sexual innuendo you could think of back in 1988, and this style of hard rock was an easy sell to the vacuous audience of MTV. The very Van Halen influenced 'Owed To Joe' keeps things at a very high-octane level; combustible to a tee. 'Shoot The Preacher' keeps the Dave Lee Roth vibe happening. It's no wonder Torien was considered a DLR impressionist back in the day, and based on what I'm hearing here on this track, that's no surprise. 'For The Love Of Money' is another of the recognisable BB tracks from this album, and I remember playing this one often back in 1988. BulletBoys keep things short and snappy throughout the album, with most tracks hovering in the three minute bracket, 'Kissing Kitty' being one of these. Born of a simple rock n roll recipe, this song is the archetypal MTV styled rock during this era. 'Hell On My Heels' shuffles in the same direction as late 80's Krokus, Torien and Marc Storace sharing the same high notes! We go back to the fun and games humour of Van Halen with 'Crank Me Up', which could be Halen's 'Get Up' (from '5150') repackaged with an even heavier brand. BB continue through to the end of the album with two solid offerings: the slow burn and dark 'Badlands' and another party rocker in 'F9'.

In Summary
The band's entrance into 1988 was good one, the album going gold soon after. Strangely, the band took ages to release a follow up; 1991's 'Freakshow', but by then all momentum had been lost, even though the band continued on with a turnstile of personnel from the mid 90's onward. There is another review here of their 2009 effort, but I think this album was pretty good for its time, and good on Rock Candy Records for giving it a 2014 reissue.

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