Bullets And Octane - 'Waking Up Dead' (Self-Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Ben Hughes   
Thursday, 29 June 2017 04:00

Bullets And OctaneWas it really 11 years ago that they came to my attention with their major label album 'In The Mouth Of The Young'? Like a sleazy Motörhead, they rocked their way into my life at a time when that was just what was needed. They sounded dangerous and pissed off. 


I bought the follow up album 'Song For The Underdog', but didn't listen to it as much to be honest. The last thing I remember was a cancelled UK tour a few years back and then nothing since. So, what the fuck happened to Bullets And Octane then? 


Frontman Gene Louis has, of course, been keeping himself busy with The Brave Ones and a whole bunch of solo albums over the years - but it ain't Bullets And Octane now, is it? Fear not, as the man is back under the guise of Bullets And Octane once again. I say guise, as it's all a bit of a cloak and dagger affair with this band: you try searching for their Facebook page, try finding out who is in the band this time or when this new album is actually due to be released! 


Then, UK dates were announced, closely followed by killer new single/video 'Bad Mother Fucker' and before I knew it, a copy of new album 'Waking Up Dead' was in my (virtual) hands... tidy!


The same air raid siren that opens their 2004 album 'The Revelry' is also the early warning system for 'Waking Up Dead', yet 'Bad Mother Fucker' blasts from the speakers with way more power than I remember the excellent 'Save Me Sorrow' ever doing. Gene Louis screaming, sounding as pissed off and angry as he ever was. "I never got a diploma, I don't need a degree, I live life for rock 'n' roll destroying everything" shouts the frontman, yeah one thing's for sure, 'Bad Mother Fucker' is a statement of intent, it's Motörhead meets Guns N’ Roses meets Warrior Soul. Bullets And Octane are back and they mean business. They sound fresh, vibrant and up for it.


The title track follows, with low slung guitars and gang backing vocals it comes on like old school Marilyn Manson to these ears. "I hate myself today, stay outta my fuckin way" Gene screams the chorus at the top of his lungs, as the guitarist peels off another low slung, sleazy solo, the sorta thing Slash used to produce when GN’R were young, starving and struggling to survive as underdogs, something Bullets And Octane continue to do.


The retrospective 'When We Were Young' is as anthemic and powerful as anything you will hear this year. A chorus that incites the listener to scream at the top of their lungs, and celebrate the glory days of youth. "Fuck the world, I still believe"...indeed I do, I do!


'Fuck You Song', this...now this is a tune alright. The verse will grab you with its infectious melody, the chorus will smack your head toward the pavement and you'll be begging for more. Gene Louis has not lost the knack of getting his point across to the disenchanted youth.



With killer hooks and meaty rock 'n' roll riffs, the likes of 'Murder Me Baby' and 'Rolling Stone' will entice and excite those who are unfamiliar, as much as the die-hard fans of everything Gene Louis produces. This bunch of songs are raw, undiluted and still as catchy as any Bullets And Octane early career highlights.


Closer 'Heart Attack' even sees the singer take a tongue in cheek pop at religion. "Jesus Christ Almighty, please forgive me, but I'd rather live in lust than have you save me...”: fair play dude!.


With themes of retrospection and a fuck you attitude still at the fore, Gene Louis and the boys have not mellowed with age; in fact they seem to have a renewed vigour and lust for rock 'n' roll. Still underdogs and still magnificent, Bullets And Octane are back and firing on all cylinders. 


Now, please someone point me in the direction of a hard copy of this fucker as soon as possible, as it's probably their strongest album to date and like 'In The Mouth Of The Young' I want to listen to it loud, in my car, with the windows rolled down and the volume up and join them in sticking a big middle finger up to the world… care to join the party?


'Waking Up Dead' is out now.


Bullets And Octane play the following dates in August:


Tuesday 22 – Edinburgh, Bannerman’s

Wednesday 23 – Newcastle, Trillians

Thursday 24 – Nottingham, The Angel Microbrewery

Friday 25 – London, The Lounge (Archway)




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