Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Album Review: "Small Problems" by The Bulls

Small Problems
About twenty years ago, I discovered a band, The Suede Chain, that had a string section. They were a "local" band that played between Champaign, IL and St. Louis, MO. They had a couple of albums, but never went anywhere...sadly.

A couple of years ago, my father in law gave my wife and I a pair of tickets to see a band at the Pageant that neither of us had heard of, The Airborne Toxic Event.

This band also had a female violinist...and some pretty kick ass guitars.

So, this band struck a chord with me and before the second song of the set was done, I had already plopped down some cash to get their latest album.

Well, I told you those stories to tell you about The Bulls. They were co-founded by Anna Bullbrook of the Airborne Toxic Event, the violinist. Well, that was enough to get my interested in this album.

The Bulls
To begin with, let's make it clear, The Bulls have nothing in common with The Airborne Toxic Event.

This is not a rock album, it's a vocal pop record.

There are some tasty guitar licks here and there, but I only counted one solo during the disc.

Thankfully, it was perfect.

The other co-founder is a guitarist, Mark Sallis of The Duke Spirit, so there is definitely some nice work there that's not hidden in the mix.

The guitars aren't the main focus of the songs, but more of a frosting along the time.

The songs are carried by Bullbrook's high pitched vocals and the synthy keyboards.

The songs sound absolutely phenomenal. The guitar tones are brittle and gritty. The bass guitar has a strong, dirty grit to it, and the drums fit in the to the tracks like they should.

This album is upbeat, peppy, and poppy. Here and there, twinges of sadness rear their heads, but only as if they're being shouted down by laughter.

This is something that you shouldn't miss.

Release: 8/28/15
Genre: Pop
Label: Diet Pink Records
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