The Black Bullets – Bullet Through Your Heart (Too Loaded Records)
CD / DL
Third EP from the hell for leather Basingstoke rockers, The Black Bullets, now featuring new vocalist Liar Billy T.
You may have read on Louder Than War earlier in the year how the Bullets lost their founder member and singer Rob Castle. But the remaining members wasted no time crying into their Jack Daniels and got their shit together to record their third defiantly Metal EP. Although they prefer the description Full-Throttle Rock ‘n’ Roll.
It’s probably only Heavy Metal bands who can survive losing & replacing a lead singer with barely a noticeable change as far as the casual observer is concerned.
The Black Bullets were always four-strong though and building up such a head of steam in terms of musical progression and steadily increasing fan base that fire, flood, death or destruction was never going to stop them.
Vocalist Liar Billy T was already a fixture in the Bullets camp as their photographer of choice and provider of party-vibes. He looked the part, but can he sing? Course he can. It’s a more gravelly rasp to Castles phlegmy yelp, but he gives good throat and hollers in tune.
Musically they’ve gone up a notch and drummer-man Carl Donoghue is particularly raging and shit hot on the new EP. Guitarist Stevie Pearce, now without a rhythm guitarist to duel with has also upp-ed his game and really is a world class player. Bassist Bones is probably going to be pissed off with this EP in time as his instrument is lost in the mix (at least on my equipment, which admittedly, could be better.)
Black Spiders Devil Women, zombies, nymphos, whiskey and brimstone are all present and correct and the sound is sleazy, hard and leathery. Thundercrack snare sound and widdley-widdley solo’s that fire off like Catherine wheels. Black Bullets make (relatively) complex music sound easy and innocuous phrases sleazy. They recall the good old New Wave of British Heavy Metal, but sound brand new and like the Future of UK Hard Rock to me (yeah, I’m not an expert on the genre, but I’ve got enough Motorhead, Guns’n Roses, Lizzy and Rainbow in my collection to know my Jukebox Metal – the stuff that everybody likes, which combined with a never-surrender punk attitude is unbeatable.
Losers are the Lucky Ones stands out with its spine-chilling Slash come Manics intro and outro before descending into an early Iron Maiden type rocker where Billys demonic rasp comes into the daylight.