Bulletboys: Bulletboys

Prowling? Priapic? Brace yourselves, ladies...

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Passed over by CBS Records in favour of Warrant (and imagine being the A&R man making that decision), the BulletBoys adopted an unusual strategy for bands in LA circa 1987: they stopped hanging around on the Strip, and hunkered down in a rehearsal room where, via a serendipitous series of events, they played a 10-song set to Van Halen producer Ted Templeman.

After that it was Templeman who teased this raucous, often highly enjoyable debut from the BulletBoys. That required him to slow down drummer Jimmy D’Anda’s early-morning caffeine jitters by making him drink a six pack (“What other producer would do that?” D’Anda asks in the entertaining sleevenotes to this reissue), and streamline the band’s more overt Van Halen and AC/DC influences into something more plausibly original.

For the most part, with his guidance the BulletBoys succeeded. Marq Torien, their pouting, priapic frontman, immediately plays to type on the opener Hard As A Rock (‘She likes it real hot/She likes it real wet’) and the song that would prove their one claim to a hit, the semi-legendary Smooth Up In Ya (‘I’ll never be the one-woman kind’), while guitarist Mick Sweda offers a nice line in the kind of riffs that make Torien’s bragging sound mildly convincing.

The album went gold, yet BulletBoys had arrived a little too late for real riches. They were soon swept away by the turning tides, but their cock certainly rocked, if only fleetingly./o:p

Jon Hotten

Jon Hotten is an English author and journalist. He is best known for the books Muscle: A Writer's Trip Through a Sport with No Boundaries and The Years of the Locust. In June 2015 he published a novel, My Life And The Beautiful Music (Cape), based on his time in LA in the late 80s reporting on the heavy metal scene. He was a contributor to Kerrang! magazine from 1987–92 and currently contributes to Classic Rock. Hotten is the author of the popular cricket blog, The Old Batsman, and since February 2013 is a frequent contributor to The Cordon cricket blog at Cricinfo. His most recent book, Bat, Ball & Field, was published in 2022.