Hair Metal Mansion correspondent DAWN OSBOURNE checks in with the following:
The Bullet Boys get their act together..But it’s not the Bullet Boys of ‘Smooth up in Ya’. It is a new animal altogether. Think Richie Kotzen rather than their King Kobra and Ratt heritage. Received wisdom is that the band’s eponymous first album was unbelievably stunningly good, that the second album ’Freakshow’ had a few tunes, but that after that they lost their way. However something has happened in Bullet Boys Land and they’ve had an injection of groove. There’s something in the water.. but we’re not complaining. This is a whole lot better than their foray into alternative music with ‘Acid Monkey’, their competent but arguably creatively stagnant covers album ‘Rocked and Ripped and the arguably slightly confused ‘Za Za’. it’s a fruity funky affair and it tastes much better.
The sound is really quite different from their first album though. Hardly any trademark Torien screaming and the fare is not metal as such. Very different guitar approach: widdley widdley guitar solos are hardly in evidence. Instead what we have is a holistic approach to song writing. Less ego, more craft perhaps? Certainly, a result of influences beyond the Sunset Strip 89. However, for the open minded, those who have enjoyed the solo work of Richie Kotzen and are not afraid of mainstream radio-friendly rock there is something new to discover. Torien is the only current original member which may go a lot of the way towards the reason for a new sound.
Opener ‘Rollover’ starts off meatily enough guitar-riff wise and together with ‘Subhuman Girl’ is possibly the closet to some of the better work of the band’s rockier later albums ‘10c Billionaire’. ‘Drop your weapon‘ is an original intelligent rocker with some original style Torien screaming. However, apart from that most of the album leaves hard rock territory and gets on down to funky town. Not everything has the same flavour though: there is a tongue in cheek Elton John cover ‘The Bitch is Back’ and ‘As Dumb As’ even sounds a little bit Oasis (we said this was radio friendly).
Bits of the old Bullet Boys wit and wisdom peek through at times, witness the refrain. ‘Don’t think they make a pill for that’, but if you expect something totally different to ‘Hard as a Rock’ from the first album you will not be disappointed! The Producer of the record Ryan Greene, known for work with Alice Cooper, Lita Ford and Cheap Trick said ‘If you think for a second this is going to be some rehashed ‘80s record, you are completely wrong’. He is right!
Courtesy of Hair Metal Mansion - www.hairbangersradio.ning.com