Album review: BULLETS AND OCTANE – Waking Up Dead

BULLETS AND OCTANE - Waking Up Dead

Cargo Records [Release date 16.08.18]

If you have never heard the band Bullets and Octane before, you will undoubtedly be sold within the first two tracks on new album “Waking Up Dead”. Pretty much picking up where 2013’s “15” left off, this is one energetic album that blends punk, sleaze and glam rock – you can hear the bands influences throughout, there’s a bit of Hanoi Rocks in there, a hint of Buckcherry, a touch of Dogs D’Amour and even a pinch of Wildhearts.

The album’s first single, “Waking Up Dead”, is my favourite song of 2018 so far, and with album opener “Bad Motherf**ker” kicking things off in style, there really are no weak tracks amongst the 10 on offer here.

“Burning At Both Wicks” reminds me of Scott Weiland at times, “Fires” is a fuller, more rounded affair, “Fuck You Song” pretty much does what it says on the tin whilst “Hostage” is an easy number that bounces along nicely. “Murder Me Baby” has an infectious groove to it and is the kind of song that will not be leaving my head any time soon, “When We Were Young” has a good sing along punk feel to it and “Heart Attack “closes the album in the same style it opened and leaves you with a sense of satisfaction that you don’t get from too many new releases these days.

It is hard to believe that Bullets and Octane have been around for 20 years now, albeit with recent line-up changes, and with “Waking Up Dead” they have delivered their best album yet. There are solid songs throughout the album with great vocals and guitar work, spot on backing vocals and everything else blending nicely – vocalist, and remaining original member, Gene Louis has certainly found a winning combination with the band’s current line-up.

Bullets and Octane will be back in the UK in December, see you down the front.  *****

Review by Nikk Gunns

Your new album, “Waking Up Dead” is getting some great reviews, how pleased are you with the reception it has received?

I think everybody’s very pleased with the way everyone has seemed to enjoy this new album. Personally, I don’t look into much to reviews or opinions on the albums much these days I’ve kind of learned that it can slightly persuade creativity. Everybody has an opinion, but as long as we are happy with what we are creating that’s the bottom line really.

If you had to sell me he album in five words, what would they be?

The story of real “rock ‘n’ roll”

OK, now tell us about the album, how it came about, the songs etc…

Truly was an organic creation with this process coming up with the lyrics in the songs along with music. I think when you let go and truly just do a comes naturally and you can’t go wrong.

You’ve been around for twenty years now and have had a few changes before putting together this line-up, what have been the highlights and low-points?

It all comes down to perspective really, what appears to be the low points in a career at the time can later become positives, creatively and professionally, and that experience and wisdom translates to songs.

What have been your most memorable live shows for you and why?

What’s funny is in the last six months every one of us has at some point fallen off stage, so all our shows are memorable! When I do use a cane to get around because of injuries it makes me think, we really need to start being a little more careful with how we enjoy performing haha!

If you could land your perfect tour tomorrow, what other bands would be on the bill?

I think it would be a good fit and a good match for this band to possibly tour with the band such as the Bronx, backyard babies, and of course the Foo Fighters.

You’ve visited the UK a few times now, how do the venues and audiences differ from the US?

The energy of true rock fans in the UK is wonderful, they stick with you no matter what. True dedication!

How do you view the current music scene? Have you seen a regaining of ground for rock and metal over the last couple of years?

It’s tough to say where things are for rock ‘n’ roll or metal these days, I really don’t know what to make of it. I’ve kind of stopped worrying about it as I figure if you do what you do well there’s always going to be a market for it and a Fanbase, as long as it’s done authentically. There’s definitely people out there that still love the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, it’s just all about finding the right resources to get the music to them, it will never completely die off. There will always be room for resurgence.

What is the plan for Bullets and Octane in the next five years?

We are currently finishing up some new recordings for a release for later in 2019 starting November we are going on a six week tour of the UK, Germany, mainland etc. along with CKY we are very much looking forward to that tour. After the new year our plan is to finish up all the final details of upcoming album set for later 2019.

Finally, you are touring the UK with CKY in December, what can we expect from these gigs?

And we are very excited for the CKY tour in December we haven’t toured with them and over almost 10 years I think so should be great to play in front of some fans from the past but we’re really excited to be playing these new songs in front of a lot of the CKY Fanbase. I think it’s a great matchup CKY and Bullets and Octane.

Nov 30                  Limelight                                              Belfast, Ireland

Dec 1                     Voodoo Lounge                                  Dublin, Ireland

Dec 3                     Newcastle University Union               Newcastle

Dec 4                     The Garage                                         Glasgow

Dec 6                     The Asylum                                        Birmingham

Dec 7                     Academy 2                                          Manchester

Dec 8                     Academy 2                                          Liverpool

Dec 9                     Electric Ballroom                                 London

Dec 10                   Concorde 2                                         Brighton

Dec 11                   Waterfront                                             Norwich

Dec 12                   SWX                                                     Bristol


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Power Plays w/c 15 October 2018

BIRDSONG AT MORNING Waterfall (Blue Gentian Records)
GUN RUNNERS Save Our Souls (indie)
THE BUZNIKS Nail It To The Floor (3MS Music)
NAZARETH The Secret Is Out (Frontiers)
CITY OF THIEVES Fuel And Alcohol (Frontiers)

Featured Albums w/c 15 October (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 STEVE PERRY Traces (BMG)
12:00-13:00 URIAH HEEP Living The Dream (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BIRDSONG AT MORNING Signs And Wonders (Blue Gentian Records)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 STEVE MORSE/SARAH SPENCER Angelfire (2010)



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