In the Mouth of the Young

Studio Album by released in 2006
In the Mouth of the Young's tracklist:
Going Blind
My Disease
Save Me Sorrow
I Aint Your Savior
Cancer California
Last Mistake
Signed in Alcohol
Queen Mirage
Caving In
Bathroom Floor
All Hail Halo
Mine Now

In the Mouth of the Young review

Helmet's guitarist Page Hamilton gives Bullets and Octane an exacting, razor-sharp sound

With the hordes of sound-alike, look-alike, act-alike punk bands emerging from the clubs and recording studios of Southern California over the past decade-plus, you’d think that any remote deviation from the accepted norm in the scene would be scowled and frowned upon by audiences comfortable with the lack of innovation and meager compositions. But, for Orange County-based Bullets and Octane, such reaction is the exact opposite. Fronted by lead vocalist Gene Louis – and further propelled by the backing of bassist Brent Clawson, drummer Ty Smith and guitarist James Daniel – this no-bullshit, pure-attitude punk-bred rock’n’roll group have received nothing but praise, adulation and in turn, have developed a rabid fan base that has continually packed clubs throughout the region. This year Bullets and Octane make the most of their leap to a major label on In the Mouth of the Young: they take full advantage of their increased budget by hiring Helmet's Page Hamilton as their producer. The Helmet guitarist gives Bullets and Octane an exacting, razor-sharp sound that might give a little bit too much focus to their reckless sleaze, but it's undoubtedly an improvement over their promising indie 2004 debut Revelry, which had the basic sound but needed muscle and direction, two things they have in spades on In the Mouth of the Young.

Fist-pounding anthems and catchy choruses are the norm on In The Mouth of the Young

Bullets and Octane play the same high-powered rock of bands like Fu Manchu and Corrosion of Conformity, while deferring to an earlier brand of hard rock (think mid-eighties for a good reference point). Each of the songs that grace In the Mouth of the Young contain this same dedication to the band’s own style, with fist-pounding anthems and catchy choruses being the norm instead of the exception here. In fact, a track like My Disease seems to come directly from the hair metal tradition, to the degree that individuals can almost hear the track alongside acts like Dio and early Ratt. Still, the distinct vocal style pushed forward on In the Mouth of the Young makes such a direct comparison nearly impossible. Where each of the few opening tracks for the album were strong in their own right, it may just be the case that Save Me Sorrow is the first unqualified hit of the album for Bullets and Octane. I Ain’t Your Savioris is another track that further solidifies the band’s spot in the leading rock bands of the era. There is a punk meets rockabilly sound to this track that links together Avenged Sevenfold with older AFI and Misfits until the band is working at a level that surpasses all of the aforementioned influences. The drum work created for this track is perhaps where the band shines the brightest; the stop-start sound of these drum beats sets a tone for the rest of the disc that cannot be broken.

Bullets and Octane have style and swagger in equal measure

Bullets and Octane may not be widely known, but it's only a matter of time. They have enough hooks and energy to make this record work. Perhaps they're just a shade too polished and precise to be the reckless punk rockers they aspire to be, but as far as major-label retro-punk goes in 2006, this is a strong listen, since Bullets and Octane have style and swagger in equal measure. Bullets and Octane bring you their unrelenting, combustible hybrid of gritty, punk-influenced hard rock from southern California. And if you’re hard pressed to believe that rock’n’roll vitality, innovation and originality doesn’t exist in an area flooded by Republicans and Disneyland, we’d like to suggest listening to In the Mouth of the Young. While their songs will have you singing along, make no mistake – this is punch to the throat hard rock with an in your face attitude! Bullets and Octane have really gotten their act together since The Revelry, and it is hopefully farther into this vein of music that we will hear more from them the next few years.

(19.04.2006)
Rate review4.75
Total votes - 4


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