RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

BulletBoys – BulletBoys
Rock Candy Records
www.rockcandyrecords.com

Rating: B

The band King Kobra never quite made it to mass success. Critics loved them, and veteran drummer Carmine Appice was the founding member of the band... yet they never made it any further than being a ‘could-have-been’ band.  This lack of commercial success, in a time period where Sunset Strip bands were getting signed by record companies in record numbers led three members of the current line up of King Kobra, Mick Sweda, Lonnie Venchent and Marq Torien, to jump ship and form their own band. 

It was clear that this was a talented group of guys and not just a second rate Poison, as were many of their peers.  They wrote hard rocking melodic gems, were creative enough to carve out their own sound (think Van Halen meets Ratt meets make-up-less Kiss) and they were wise enough to get a good look for MTV purposes.  They were savvy enough to bring in a master producer as well: Ted Templeman. 

The self-titled debut, released in 1988, took no time in selling.  This was the flavor of the day, and with the hit single “Smooth Up In Ya” the band was able to reach a cross section of the American music buying public.  The girls liked the look and the guys liked the grooves.  The generation before them liked their almost Kiss-like sound. This combination saw the album quickly reach Gold for sales of over a half a million copies. 

“Smooth Up In Ya” was the main reason they were successful, but the guys did a killer job remaking the O’Jays tune “For the Love of Money.” They were not all makeup and hair, as they could crank it up.  Just listen to the track “Hard As A Rock.” They could also be catty as proved by the provocative “Kissin’ Kitty.” 

At the end of the day the band was short lived, only being viable as a commercial band for a couple of years.  Still, this one is worth taking another listen to, and Rock Candy Records has made that easy.  The sound is remastered and the accompanying CD booklet contains rare photos and interviews.

TRACK LISTING:
1. HARD AS A ROCK
2. SMOOTH UP IN YA
3. OWED TO JOE
4. SHOOT THE PREACHER DOWN
5. FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY
6. KISSIN’ KITTY
7. HELL ON MY HEELS
8. CRANK ME UP
9. BADLANDS
10. F#9

 By Jeb Wright

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