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BulletBoys - Elefante´ Award winner

by Jeff Legg at 13 June 2015, 6:50 PM

Back in the 80’s, the greatest era in recorded music history, the music industry was running at full throttle. The Sunset Strip in Hollywood had spawned a generation of “hair bands” that were setting the world on fire, selling albums at a rate that had never been witnessed before. And with the advent of MTV and music videos, these flamboyant rock stars flourished, as they now had a visual vehicle to push album sales into the stratosphere, making a platinum album the norm and becoming the measuring stick by which all bands were to be judged. An onslaught of homeless musicians had become famous millionaires in a matter of a few short years and the lure of fame and fortune had bands coming out of the woodwork, looking to become the next in line. By the latter part of the decade, saturation had set in and finding the “next big thing” was becoming increasingly remote, leaving the true metal fan, like me, left to wonder if this great genre was all but dead. But a glimmer of hope was ignited in 1988 when The BULLETBOYS broke onto the scene with their self-titled record, just in the nick of time to potentially save a movement from extinction. With a barrage of hits, a wealth of talent, and with the swagger of a certain headliner, this quartet instilled new life into a waning style of rock that was truly on it’s last leg. But while this band and this record were monumental, platinum status never materialized and “BulletBoys” topped out certified as gold. This was not because the material was inferior to the platinum albums before it, but because the music industry had started to take a different direction, giving way to the angst driven sound of a new generation, leaving a permanent scar on this genre. I still stand by my opinion that, even though they were relatively huge, the BULLETBOYS are one of the most underrated bands of all time and the original lineup was one of the most talented groups of musicians to ever play the 80’s hard rock sound. Had these guys broken five years earlier, they too would have been afforded multiple platinum albums and sold-out arenas, as much as anyone before them, and it’s highly likely they would have forever been the face of the 80’s.

Fast forward more than a quarter century, and the BULLETBOYS, with a fresh new sound in tow, are still rockin’ via their 8th studio album, Elefante´; a finely polished collection of rock n’ roll muscle that would earn relevance in any decade of hard rock. While this is not your father’s BULLETBOYS, founding mastermind Marq Torien (vocals and lead guitar) is as good as ever and can still deliver a song as well as any front man in music. Anyone that says “Father Time” has taken its toll on his powerful voice is in for a surprise, as his pitch, tone, and delivery are spot on. And with Nick Rozz on rhythm guitar, Chad MacDonald on bass, and Shawn Duncan on drums, this line up of talent rivals any that Torien has ever put forth.

Usually when I write a review of an 80’s band’s new album, one that I really like, I ramble on and on about how they have recreated their old school sound and haven’t skipped a beat after all these years. All of that could be written here, but the musical progression that the BULLETBOYS have shown is mind-blowing. Although elements of their edgy, infectious bad-boy rock n’ roll are still present, a more complete, refined sound dominates the record and is truly magical. They could have toured forever, playing their catalog of hits from yesteryear, but that is not enough for Mr. Torien. Great musicians will always be great musicians, and he just so happens to be a great one. And with the ability to write amazing songs, these guys aren’t going away anytime soon.

On Elefante´, Torien’s maturation as a songwriter is on full display. The lead track, “Rollover”, is an upbeat rocker with an infectious chorus that will be stuck on replay in your mind for days, and has somewhat of a FOO FIGHTERS flavor to it. Other heavyweights that really stick out are “Tsunami”, “The Villain”, “Saving You From Me”, and “Drop Your Weapon”. “Elefante´” bears no weak moments and each song will strike a different nerve, but there are two songs here that are outstanding and could be the shining moment of Torien’s illustrious career;  “Kin Folk” is a bluesy, mid-tempo work of art reminiscent of an old-school BAD COMPANY or BLACK CROWES hit record, and with a masterful vocal performance, this one actually gave me chills. But what could be the pinnacle of the BULLETBOYS long storied legacy, believe it or not, comes by way of a rockin’ ballad. “Symphony”, simply put, is a masterpiece. Every second of this song bleeds emotion and was, without a doubt, written from the heart, forever summoning a sing-along moment at each and every BULLETBOYS live show in the future.

Elefante´ has to be a helluva proud moment for Marq Torien and the ‘BOYS, as this record is one for the ages and will go down as one of the best BULLETBOYS albums to date. A lot of the so-called “experts” won’t even give this album a spin because the BULLETBOYS are an 80’s band. But they’re the losers in this one. Elefante´ is an amazing album and easily ranks as one of my favorite listens of the year. The ‘BOYS are back and coming to a city near you.

5 Star Rating

1. Rollover

2. Tsunami

3. Symphony

4. The Villain

5. Kin Folk

6. Saving You From Me

7. As Dumb As

8. Superhuman Girl

9. Drop Your Weapon

10. Bitch Is Back

11. Elefante’
Marq Torien - Vocals, Lead Guitar
Nick Rozz - Rhythm Guitar
Chad MacDonald - Bass
Shawn Duncan - Drums
Record Label: Deadline/Cleopatra Records


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Edited 31 May 2023

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