Bullets and Octane - In the Mouth of the Young (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Bullets and Octane

In the Mouth of the Young (2006)


The last time we saw Bullets and Octane, they were doing their best Misfits impression. Complete lack of thought and originality aside, they did fairly well at it. Now, two years older, but uncannily not anywhere close to two years wiser, the four-piece find themselves channeling Avenged Sevenfold and whatever other generic punk band you can think of to articulate their sound.

Maybe I'm giving too much credit where not enough is due, though. Articulate implies a level of intelligence, or in this instance, some rudimentary musical understanding, none of which is prevalent on this vapid attempt to hit the Billboard 200.

Singer Gene Louis does his best to croon and bellow over the top of his misguided band-mates, only resulting in an even more muddled and even more directionless sound. It seems the band is not sure whether they'd like to traverse the faux-metal or faux-punk route, so they're left trudging somewhere right in the very middle. On one hand, there's some impressive (albeit unnecessary) guitar solos, and on the other, the band tries to project a raw punk sound, not knowing another way to do it besides piling as much distortion on top of the four-chord structure as possible. They try their hand at everything from sing-along choruses to hardcore-style gang vocals, and each endeavor finds them falling flat on their faces.

Furthering their problems is the scatterbrained nature in which they approach the sequencing of the record. There's no flow, no structure, no semblance of any ties binding one song to the next. It's all just a loose association of bad ideas that jumps all over the map, leaving them right back where they started by the time it's finished.

What we in effect have with In the Mouth of the Young is a bar rock band with delusions of grandeur. Nothing more, nothing less.

And being the good guy that I am, I'm going to give some tough love and not help propagate the tepid garbage they're trying to pass off as music.