‘If it aint broke don’t fix it‘ is a term that can often be applied to bands that know the territory they’re treading in, and in the case of rock and roll, Workington’s Bulletproof Rose know exactly what they’re doing with their five track EP appropriately titled ‘Loud Hard Fast’.
Each well executed song here is a sweet reminder that hard rock music is all about the raw sounds of the guitar, amplifier, catchy vocal hooks and the passion of a hard performance. The drums are fit for purpose, the bass nicely audible, vocal performance from lead man Jacob Siddle fits well within the songs especially when the chorus hooks for almost every track on this CD make it difficult for the listener to do anything but sing along, something that would no doubt be reflected in their live shows. The highlights here are found in rhythm guitarist Brian Robinson’s and lead Jacob Siddle’s performances. A great classic sounding hard rock tone combined with some impressively face melting solos that flow brilliantly make for some really enjoyable listening.
An interesting inclusion is the last track ‘Loud Hard Fast’ which goes about as old school as rock gets; a rockabilly song similar to the likes of Elvis. It’s catchy, upbeat and entertaining, although I’m not quite sure what happened during the middle section; an unnecessary drop in volume breaks the flow of the song and reveals a part which at the very least sounds like it’s about to break out a bass solo (but doesn’t) only to include a guitar solo which would have sounded far better at the same volume as the rest of the song. That being said, the second half of the track filled with some of the best solos on the record it’s a great way to round things off.
The curse (or blessing) of any modern hard rock band is the one which lurks behind every riff and every solo and wears a flat cap with a school uniform. Some claim it’s near impossible to create an original rock song or that awfully dismissive phrase ‘it’s been done before’ gets commonly chucked around when talking about the genre and it’s no surprise that Bulletproof Rose fall into a similar category. Personally this tends to not affect which albums I listen to, the great thing about not having been around in 1975 to hear the release of AC/DC’s ‘High Voltage’ is that I get to hear new bands play and refine the sounds which were so great in the first place without having 30 years of classic rock experience. However, I do believe there is a line between paying tribute to classic sounds and directly ripping riffs off another band. It’s no secret that Airbourne sound a hell of a lot like AC/DC or that some may argue almost every metal band ever has something to owe to Black Sabbath but the fact that the main riff on track number four of ‘Loud Hard Fast’ titled ‘Bang Your Head’ I was able to instantly pinpoint the exact band and the song of which it sounds undoubtedly similar to was perhaps a little disconcerting (see Airbourne’s Fat City).
Overall this EP is a hard hitting reminder that rock and roll is all about having a good time, partying and rocking out to some zero bullshit sounds. The drums and guitars occasionally fall out of time and some more work on the lyrics is needed but the impressive guitar work and catchy choruses more than make up for any shortcomings. These guys will no doubt improve as the band grows over time but the initial effort is a solid one that’ll remind you why you liked rock and roll in the first place. Standout Tracks: Gypsy, Bang Your Head, Loud Hard Fast.
Overall this EP is a hard hitting reminder that rock and roll is all about having a good time, partying and rocking out to some zero bullshit sounds. The drums and guitars occasionally fall out of time and some more work on the lyrics is needed but the impressive guitar work and catchy choruses more than make up for any shortcomings.