Home > TheRest > Bullet Lavolta – The Gift

Bullet Lavolta – The Gift

Taang! Records, 1989

Aside from the colorful red and yellow cover that pops out at me, I don’t really have a whole lot to say about why I bought this record (aside from its affordability, that is).  Maybe I thought that Bullet Lavolta was sort of close to ‘John Travolta’ … though why I would list John Travolta as a reason to buy a record is beyond me.  Maybe I thought the flowers were really pretty in the ultra-pale lady’s hands.  Or maybe I was shocked to curiosity when I saw the same woman bound, gagged and getting strangled on the back cover.  Okaaaay Bullet Lavolta, what is your game?

It turns out that Bullet Lavolta were a relatively long-staying hard rock band in Boston back in the late eighties.  If I had opened up the art booklet before purchasing the record, I would have noticed five very gruff-looking dudes in leather and flannel jackets.  These gruff-looking dudes don’t get cute with the music with their rumbling opener of “X Fire”.  It’s got the heavy, blended guitars, the driving drum beat, and what sounds like a repetition of “tapioca” during the chorus.  Well, that can’t be right.  Unless, of course, tapioca is rock ‘n roll pudding to you and Bullet Lavolta.

Like “X Fire”, most of the songs on the record are hard, heavy, and straight forward.  “Chalkdust”, “Over the Shoulder”, and “Off Kilter” are very similar sounding tracks with the same guitar tones and three minutes or less clock time.  Lead vocalist Yukkie Gipe nearly gets drowned out by the band most of the time.  There’s also not much of a chance to pick up any of the lyrics either as Gipe mumbles or screams his way through most songs.  Even when he sounds more coherent on songs like “One Room Down” you can barely hear him.  Whether it was a production gaff or not, the back burner treatment of the vocals proves Bullet Lavolta is all about the maximum rock ‘n roll volume anyway.  I guess take your deep lyrical interpretations and poetic rhythm elsewhere.

However, if you’re looking for a band comparison of Bullet Lavolta, “Mother Messiah” gives off a Dictators impression mainly due to the song’s composition and Yukkie Gipe’s vocals.  It helps that Gipe’s singing voice is actually a speaking/singing hybrid, which essentially means he’s yelling rather loudly.  Something along the lines of the punk side of the Dictators is “Dead Wrong”, which is a really great rousing song after the epically awful ‘faux death metal’ of “Birth of Death”.  Unlike most records these days, “Dead Wrong” proves that some of the better tracks on albums can be found near the end.  It’s the eleventh track of a mostly hard rock collection, so although it came late it leaves the listener with a pretty good impression of Bullet Lavolta’s well-rounded rock out capabilities.

A few articles and Youtube videos can be found to get to know Bullet Lavolta, but at least Last.fm has some songs from them to spin.

Although “The Gift” is rather middle of the road, Bullet Lavolta can give anyone the heavy rock dose they need to pump their fist in the air once in awhile.  Apparently they were big in Boston during their five year existence, so maybe the record doesn’t do the band enough justice for what they could actually do onstage.  (sigh)  I suppose that constitutes some of the painful aspect of reviewing old albums and wishing you could instead be reviewing it at the time of release.  I imagine that if I had been around Boston back when Bullet Lavolta were thrashing about the local clubs, I would have donned my fashionable jean jacket and lumbered on over to see them a few times.

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