April 11, 2009

What's In A Name?

Bullet LaVolta

In 1991, I went with a few friends to see Prong and C.O.C. While we were driving up to the club, one of the guys in the car informs us that C.O.C. had revamped their lineup and changed their sound. We had no idea. We were all pretty disappointed by the new C.O.C., and unfortunately my friend Corey's curfew meant that we actually left literally moments before Prong's first song (I could hear them playing as we got into the car, and I was crushed). But the night wasn't a complete loss, because the first band on the bill was this odd punk/metal/rock band called Bullet LaVolta. The thing about Bullet LaVolta, though, is that I've struggled since that time to accurately describe their sound. When I say punk/metal/rock, you get a certain image in your mind, I'm sure. Well they don't sound anything like that. They are technically proficient, yet the songs are straightforward and melodic. They are full of piss and vinegar, but they're certainly not your simple three-chords-and-three-minutes affairs. Grunge? Alternative? I really just don't know. I could see some similarities, maybe, to early Smashing Pumpkins, but way cleaned up and way more technical. Allmusic tries to peg them as emo, and I can tell you flat out that that's 100% incorrect. But the point is, this is a fantastic record. Like really fantastic.

They put out two full-lengths, and ep, and a live record, and this one (their second full-length) is by far the best. None of their records are in print now. Guitarist Clay Tarver went on to play with Chavez, and other guitarist Corey Brennan (not the same Corey who's curfew caused me to miss Prong, though that Corey did go on to play in a pretty popular acousticy-folk duo you might've, possibly, heard of) played with the Lemonheads. Their singer, Yukkie Gipe, is now in a garage band called The Konks, but they don't do much for me. It's nothing personal, Yukkie.



Ben said...

i've talked to kurt (the singer) after a show once or twice since i moved to boston and he's a seriously nice guy. i had to research the konks, who i'd just seen, to figure out he was bullet lavolta's singer because he didn't even mention it. we just talked about old boston punk bands.

i agree that the konks aren't very impressive but i dig bullet lavolta.

Ben said...

to me, they sound like a combination of jawbreaker and drive like jehu (or pitchfork)

cdb said...

Very cool. Next time you see him ask him how the heck you pronounce Yukkie Gipe, and why on earth he went by that name in Bullet LaVolta.