When you hear the name Bullets and Octane, you know you're talking about a rock band. And Bullets and Octane is a rock band, but that's not their limit. On In the Mouth of the Young, this Orange County-based band delivers a fast, intense blend of metal, hard rock and gritty punk rock.
Gravelly Vocals And Hard Rock Guitars
With a voice that falls somewhere between the Reverend Horton Heat and Lemmy (with a pinch of Danzig thrown in for spice), Gene Louis belts out gravelly vocals that are carried by hard rock-influenced guitars. Booming drum tracks (supplied by Ty Smith, who played drums with the Vandals for a while) carry the whole album forward, especially on tracks like "I Ain't Your Savior", which is a fast-paced thrash of a song that just rocks hard.
The album hits another high point with "Save Me Sorrow" which has a great hook, and "Mine Now", another fast gritty aggression-fest. "Cancer California" delivers one more element of their sound, a guitar-driven dose of crunchy pop punk that makes you nod your head along.
Produced by Page Hamilton (Helmet), the sound is near-perfect, with crystal-clear guitars that never lose their grit. It's polished, but the edge has been sharpened as well.
The album comes up a bit short on a couple songs, like "Bathroom Floor", when the band leans toward music that's more melodic and trudging. They're best at their crunchy blasts of hard-rock-meets-punk, and Gene Louis' vocals are best used when he's belting out the words to fast-paced rockfests. Still, these slower tunes are the minority on the album.
As a whole, In the Mouth of the Young is hard, aggressive and fast. The best way to quickly describe it would be to simply say "It rocks. Hard." This isn't an album for punk purists - but it is an album you'll really dig if you're open minded enough to admit you don't mind a little metal mixed in with your morning cup of punk rock.