Sebastián, Spain. Said LP has arrived, and it does not disappoint! BPL are Kurt Baker on lead vocals, Luiyi Costa (Txorlitohead, Lolas Club) on guitar, Joseba Arza (Brigada Criminal, Señor No, Ladislao) on drums, Gonzalo Ibañez (Nuevo Catecismo Católico, La Perrera) on bass, and Juan Irazu (Discipulos de Dionisos, Gran Yate Especial) on guitar. Shot Through The Heart is the band's second release overall and first in over two years. As expected, it's the perfect mix of hook-laden power pop and full-throttle, kick-in-the-ass rock n' roll. As good as 2014's self-titled LP was, it was really just a glimpse of what Bullet Proof Lovers might someday become. Here we receive the band in full maturity - replete with massive production befitting those thundering drums and guitars louder than the law should allow. Early '80s arena rock is still a logical point of reference (check out the album bookends "I Am My Radio" and "Radioactive Love"), but with this record I'm also feeling the fury and power of Detroit/Aussie punk. Baker, often pigeonholed as a "pop" guy, ably steps into the role of the strong-piped rock god frontman.
Shot Through The Heart is such a satisfying listen because it allows Bullet Proof Lovers to play to their strengths and just rip into these songs. Guitarists Costa and Irazu sound like they're literally trying to set the world on fire, and that rhythm section is an absolute powerhouse. The material, without a doubt, perfectly suits the band's particular set of skills. "Ain't No Joke" lives up to its title 100 percent, while "Not Your Toy" is the kind of keyboard-driven glammy footstomper that ought to blow the doors off of every dive bar from Madrid to Hamburg. From well-crafted ballads ("One Last Night") to crank-it-to-11 rockers ("On Overdrive") to consummate area rock power pop ("All I Want"), this album delivers the full range of goods.
It's a glorious thing in this day and age to still encounter bands that above all else just want to rock. It's even better when quality hooks and a ton of melody are a major part of the equation. Bullet Proof Lovers represent a time in our world when rock n' roll was all about fun and aspiring to a radio hit was no crime. They've got the chops, they've got the attitude, and for damn sure they've got the songs! Shot Through The Heart is available on vinyl from Ghost Highway Recordings, and Rum Bar Records will have the CD release coming soon. With the arrival of this album and the new one from Wyldlife, 2017 is looking like the Year of Rock!