BulletBoys – The Warner Albums 1988-1993
(HNE Recordings - 2021)
An act that emerged in 1987 from the last embers of King Kobra and became this mighty group that many still look fondly back on today.
Their line-up was made up of Marq Torien (Vocals), Lonnie Vencent (Bass/Backing Vocals), Mick Sweda (Guitars/Backing Vocals) & Jimmy D'Anda (Drums/Backing Vocals) who were signed to Warner Brothers by Ted Templeman of Van Halen Production Fame who funnily enough loved what he heard and produced these guys too.
Basically this is the bands 1st three albums repackaged into one digipack that of course starts with the self-titled. 'Bulletboys' that has classics like the dance-floor gem 'Smooth Up In Ya' as well as the fresh as ever in-your-face 'Kissin Kitty'; the pounding 'Hell On My Heels' with its humorous '1, 2 Fuck You' introduction, the powerful 'Badlands' or their cover of The OJays 'For The Love Of Money' that's been re-worked and given that bombastic, funked-up, hard-edged BB touch!
The 2nd album 'Freakshow' has more confidence from the band who had notched up a good few shows after the debut album release and includes the booming blast of 'THC Groove', their killer cover of the bluesy 12-bar 'Talk To Your Daughter by J.B. Lenoir' and the building title-track 'Freakshow' with its quirky David Lee Roth feel.
Then there's the stomping and racing 'Say Your Prayers' and a very impressive rendition of that Montrose hit 'Rock Candy' that Ted placed on the Wayne's World Soundtrack. Sadly it faired less well in sales to the debut but it was released when Grunge was rearing its ugly head.
The album 'Za-Za' saw them go darker, harder and heavier in both a musical and lyrical sense as opposed to jumping on that Seattle wagon which would never have suited the band anyway. Some crackers on here like the piping opener 'When Pig Fly'; the electro-acoustical 'Sing A Song' with its CSN feel and almost gospel flavour; the hair metal of '1-800-Goodbye'; the mysterious 'For The Damned' that has a kind of eastern Led Zep feel to it or the closing rocker that is 'Crosstop'.
Sadly, as you can probably imagine, the 3rd album sold less, they were dropped from Warner Brothers and the band split.... okay there were various line-ups of the band later and a couple of new albums came out. The original formation reunited for a short period but regrettable never released anything new.... oh well... we have these at least to fall back on.
Crank 'em loud and be sure to read the liner notes with interview quotes that has been put together by the late, great Rock Journalist, Malcolm Dome.
By Glenn Milligan