The Bullet Kings - Wastelands (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Bullet Kings

Wastelands (2011)


The Bullet Kings are a strange band–prolific with the recorded output, but you're not going to see them going out on lengthy tours. The joys of middle age, jobs and a variety of other commitments might keep the world from getting a glimpse of this trio in action, but that won't stop them trying to lay waste on your hearing through the recorded medium. With an album and a number of singles out in 2010, the BKs open up in 2011 with a five-track EP, which was originally planned as a split with an American band who eventually lacked the funds to make it happen.

That band's loss is our gain, as the result is now purely down to the Bullet Kings, a band who sound as old as they are, with a genuine UK82 feel but updated to the current decade so as not to come across as stale and uninteresting.

The first track, "Broken England" is the only new song on the EP and I have to say, it's the best thing I've heard from this band. A great guitar sound backs Wilf's distinctive vocals and lyrics that cover how many people view the UK (not just England) these days. It's an excellent opening track and although, to me, it's not equaled by the following four tracks, none not suffer from being weak or just mere filler.

Up next is "Godforsaken Town", and this doesn't really need any explaining as it continues the theme started by "Broken England". The next two tracks are live versions of "Terror Holiday" and "Melt Down", more songs that look at the state of the world today and find that it's far from perfect. What comes across really well with these tracks is the guitar work of Carl "Behemoth" Arnfield who, despite his imposing stature, has fingers that are as nimble as anyone's across a fret board.

Bringing the release to a close is an acoustic version of the song "My Country". Yes, another view of the UK and the state it is in having had three parties in power in recent years–none of them really moving the country forward in any noticeable way–but still being able to feel some level of pride in your surroundings. I find this song even more poignant and moving done acoustically, so all credit to the band for releasing this as it ensures that the EP is varied and doesn't follow the same musical path despite having a lyrical theme throughout.

This is a limited release available only from the label so don't delay if this interests you.