STRAY BULLETS – Shut Up (2018)
Mixing ’80s American sleazy hard rock and hair metal, “Shut Up” is the international debut from Italians STRAY BULLETS. Forming in Verona in 2007, Stray Bullets recorded threes years after a self-managed album but only locally distributed. Since then, Stray Bullets have seen some line-up changes and shifted their musical focus more in the sleazy vein than previously.
And I like what I hear.
In 2015 Stray Bullets were signed by Burning Minds Music Group. The newly revamped band roster composed by vocalist Alex Chinaski, guitar players Steven Evil and Nick, bass-player Dave Dufford and drummer Zen recorded “Shut Up” at Atomic Stuff Studio. They retooled most of the songs from the original indie recording, re-writing and re-recording them for this CD.
“Lost Soul Town” kicks off the album with a bang and never looks back, filled with huge hooks and hairspray, this is a true arena rock anthem driven by great sleazy guitar riff. The “sit up and take notice” kind of riff. The high energy fist-pumper of a song grinds and pounds its way through to the chorus.
Up next is the playfulness of “Get On You” featuring a shout-along chorus that is sure to have the fist raised high at a live gig.
One of my favories, track three “Hurt”, bring back hair metal to the fore complete with cowbell. Gang choruses ala Skid Row and some amazing guitar riffs from Steven and Nick.
The whole album rips along just like those first three tracks. To be completely honest, I’m surprised at such an engrossing sleazy album coming from Italy and not late 80’s Sunset Strip.
The whole thing is a fun listen indeed. From tracks like the catchiness of “Candy”, the venom of “Put Up Shut Up”, and dirtiness of “Sex Pot”. Some of the songs seem a little generic overall, blending together during the whole run.
That’s not to say that any energy dissipates through “Be Your Man”, “Rain”, “Black Out” and “Crash”. In fact, the only song I can take or leave is “One Way Emotion”, a good Poison-like power ballad but Stray Bullets are so good with the rockers that I want more.
It’s not easy to catch the American Glam metal / hair sound & vibe from the ’80s, and I can say Stray Bullets did it here on “Shut Up”.
Hooks, gang but melodic choruses, solid lead vocals, strong riffs / solos, cowbell and even a Parental Advisor sticker on the cover. The complete hairspray package very well done and produced.
01 – Lost Soul Town
02 – Get on You
03 – Hurts
04 – Candy
05 – One Way Emotion
06 – Put up or Shut Up
07 – Sexpot
08 – Be Your Man
09 – Rain
10 – Blackout
11 – Crash
Alex Chinaski – vocals
Steven Evil – guitar
Nick – guitar
Dave Dufford – bass
Zen – drums
BUY IT !