May 21, 2018 Bullets and Octane – Waking Up Dead (Album Review)
Loud and obnoxious, the Southern California based clique known as Bullets and Octane are pumped for the release of their seventh studio album, Waking Up Dead, out May 25, 2018, via Bad MoFo Records/Cargo Records UK.
Combining adrenaline-fueled tendencies of Hard Rock and Punk Rock, Bullets and Octane – Gene Louis (Vocals), Felipe Rodrigo (Guitar), Zachary Kibbee (Bass), and Jonny Udell (Drums) – have built a solid fan-base, mainly in California and Europe, ever since the band began touring in 1998. Over the years, Bullets and Octane have dished out eight albums, beginning with two EP’s, 2003’s One Night Stand Rock N’ Roll Band and 2004’s Bullets ‘N’ Octane. Garnering a noticeable buzz, Bullets and Octane made their major label debut with 2006’s In the Mouth of the Young released on Song BMG/RCA Records.
Embodying a true Punk Rock spirit, Bullets and Octane have delivered their unbridled energy to the concert stage for the better part of the last twenty years. Playing alongside notable acts such as Social Distortion, Avenged Sevenfold, and Bad Religion, Bullets and Octane are no strangers to the big stage as the band even played on the 2006 Family Values Tour with Korn and Stone Sour.
As the summer of 2018 concert season approaches, Bullets and Octane are ready to take this new music on the road when the band heads out to play a number of festivals and headlining dates sure to rattle some ear drums. The follow-up to 2013’s 15, Waking Up Dead was produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered at Joy Street Sound, located in Garden Grove, California, by veteran Producer Brent Clawson, whose previous work has been with artists like The Knives, Story of the Year, and Guttermouth. Holding an impressive resume himself, having worked with top acts like The Used and Anders Osborne, Los Angeles, California based Recording Engineer Travis Pavur added his own expertise to the engineering portion of Waking Up Dead at Golden Beat Recording Studio.
Clocking in at a short and sweet thirty-three minutes, Waking Up Dead blasts open with a siren followed by a screaming “Yeah!” from Louis on “Bad Mother Fucker.” On this cut, as the first music video off Waking Up Dead, lyrics like “Fight for your life, blow it up, blow it up,” and aggressive music show off what Bullets and Octane are all about. The title-track, “Waking Up Dead” portrays the angst and rebellion for which Punk Rock is infamous, while, looking back on good times, “When We Were Young” sees Bullets and Octane reminiscing on their youth. A fighting spirit unfaded, lines like “When we were young, we swore we would never give up” and “Fuck the world, I still believe” show Bullets and Octane are not just some crew who jumped on a musical bandwagon; this music represents who each of these rockers are inside and out.
Next, “Burning at Both Wicks” covers the burden of being unable to get out of your own way before the sinister “Fires” pours over uncontrolled obsessions. Speaking for itself, “Fuck You Song” is a cool, catchy tune, bordering on Pop Punk, all about getting your emotions out musically. Thereafter, “Murder Me Baby” and “Rolling Stone” precede the rhythmic “Hostage.” Closing out Waking Up Dead as it began, the raucous “Heart Attack” is an undisciplined rocker about a dangerous female.
In true Punk form,Waking Up Dead is a leather clad, tattooed collection of unyielding Rock music with an emotional edge that is hard to resist. Not holding back, the boys in Bullets and Octane give their all to ten tracks which take the listener on a crash course in ear-piercing volumes, screaming vocals, and catchy riffs. Fans of Bullets and Octane will surely want to check out Waking Up Dead as it does not disappoint. For these reasons, CrypticRock gives Waking Up Dead 4 out of 5 stars.