Rock | Hair Metal | United States
Marq Torien, Mick Sweda, and the rest of the Bulletboys get Smooth Up in Ya on their self-titled album.
The Bulletboys were another in a long-line of LA metal bands that cropped up near the beginning of the end of the 80’s metal scene and are generally remembered as a one-hit wonder. But fuck all that - The Bulletboys kicked ass in a million more ways than your Steel Reserve-addled brain remembers.
Smooth Up In This Album!
The Bulletboys kept alive the swagger that had started to disappear from the metal scene by the late 80’s. Lead singer Marq Torien - formerly of Ratt and King Kobra (Iron Eagle fame) - grabbed 3 other local legends and began work on their first album. They hit the scene and instantly reminded everybody of the legendary Van Halen with their guitar-heavy sound and flamboyant singer.
This album is all rock no filler. It starts loud and fast and it ends loud and fast while screaming “Fuck right off” to any thoughts of dropping a cliche ballad in the middle. Mick Sweda - also of King Kobra fame - shreds for the entirety of 35 minutes and 3 seconds. Riffs on riffs on fucking riffs.
This album will always be known for one of the greatest metal songs of the 80’s - “Smooth Up in Ya” - but the entirety of this album encompassed everything great about the 80’s: loud guitars, boisterous vocals and shredding solos.
Bulletboys album notes
Hard as a Rock
press play and prepare for a straight power e-chord to your throat! No intro, no build-up, it just rips your ear-drums out and never quiets down. This song deserved to be the follow-up single to “Smooth up in Ya” instead of “For the love of money”. Everybody in the band shows off a little bit in the song and, you know, maybe this isn’t just another shitty 80’s metal clone.
Smooth Up in Ya
I was a fan of this song and band before the whole band even kicks in at :03. If you’re making a “Best of the 80’s Metal” mixed tape (hey kids, it’s like an iphone with a couple holes in it that you need a pencil to fix every once in awhile) and don’t include this song then you just probably go take a lap and rethink your entire existence. This song never fails to get me amped and have me screaming in off-key backing vocals. The guitar solo singing the chorus might be cliche today but it was badass in 1987.
Owed to Joe
owing alot of influence to their sound from AC/DC and Van Halen means having a blues edge to your sound (along with 80’s LA compadres Great White) and this song, and much of the album, owes to these early influences. I don’t know what Joe was owed, but I imagine
Shoot the Preacher Down
keeping with blues, Marq Torien gives us one helluva sermon while the band drives a Zeppelin inspired riff that gets the congregation on their feet and inspired to sin like they’ve never sinny-sin-sinned before.
For the Love of Money
Bulletboys pull a shocker here and break out an old soul favorite by the legendary O’Jays. And somehow they justice the hell out of it. Still, a weak follow-up single that essentially ended all momentum that was built with Smooth Up
lest you think the boys weren’t capable of a debaucherous tune about nothing more then banging sluts from the bar, well, here you go. It’s another rocking tune that lets Marq jump around and thrust his pelvis and make vulgar advances on the delightful beauties in the front row.
Hell on my Heels
“One, two, fuck you!” Keeping the debauchery going with some more sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, this song is here to remind you exactly why you’re still listening - cuz you want to bang your fucking head.
Crank it up
Oh, you thought they couldn’t get faster...well here you go. Song rips before a couple drum-breaks give you a chance to breathe. Absolutely bitching tune where the drums lead the action, the guitars crush one long solo and the bass destroys the low-end. This is the 2nd best song on the album and deserves to be put on repeat while you have a one-man mosh-pit in the location of your choice. I prefer the shower.
if there was gonna be a ballad on the album, it would belong here after the blistering speed of the previous track. But as stated earlier...B’boys no like slow songs. They do slow it down a bit with a little cynical song about getting eat up by the LA scene (re: GnR Welcome to the Jungle).
what happens have a drunken night of jamming and writing songs and you need to name your newest bitching tune...you just name it after your opening chord. Except I’m pretty sure there’s no F# nine in this song? Whatever, it was a long night of drinking, jamming and writing a kick-ass album.
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