Saturday, October 27, 2007

CD Review: Bullet Jones

by Dave Schaefer

This review is long overdue. Released this past summer, the so-called “Demo” EP by local band Bullet Jones is anything but. When I think of a demo, I think of a recording that’s a bit rough. Maybe something that was technologically tossed together -- albeit carefully -- using a bandmember’s cousin’s Mac or exhibiting music and lyrics that could use a bit (if not a lot) of spit and shine. This CD has none of the rough-hewn edges of a typical demo.

Bullet Jones is a classic four piece -- Ryan Cox (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Lee Neuzil (lead guitar), John Allen (bass) and Mat Marcum (drums) -- that plays good old-fashioned, straight-up rock n roll. There’s no gimmicks, no desperate attempt to create some new niche in order to get noticed. Maybe they realize -- and rightfully so -- that they don’t need it.

The CD is filled (well, as much as a 6-song CD can be considered “filled”) with songs that are well-written and well-played. Maybe that’s a bit of an understatement, given the exceptional musicianship that Bullet Jones exhibits both individually and collectively. Cox’s voice is perfectly suited for the songs and can belt out lyrics with clarity and emotion (he shines on “Song #4”) that rivals any million-selling rocker. Neuzil is brilliant on guitar and plays with a precision and style that I’m not sure Columbus can contain. As much as Cox and Neuzil make their mark on this CD, it’s the entire band that works so seamlessly well together that makes this independently-produced CD far better than any rock album that a major label has pushed out over this past year.

Though there are no bad songs on Bullet Jones’ EP, standout tracks are “Ugly Side,” “Song #4,” and the anthemic “Ballad of Bullet Jones.” Each show a different side of the band, allowing the listener to piece together the success that’s in the future for Bullet Jones.

The CD is currently only available at the band's shows, or you can contact them via their MySpace page.

Upcoming shows:
11/18 @ B0MA (Bar of Modern Art)
11/30 @ Ravari Room
12/1 PHILO CD release @ Skully's Music Diner

[UPDATE: I was able to catch Bullet Jones at the Halloween Bash at Andyman’s Treehouse Friday night for the first time. Covering AC/DC during their set, the band belted out the likes of “Highway To Hell” and “Back In Black” (which, according to Neuzil, stressed Cox’s vocal chords nearly to the limit). They put on an engaging 4-song set and although the band’s EP clearly shows their energy, their live show put it to shame.]

1 comment:

LocalMusicFan said...

Love the "buses" thing.