Overlooked Grunge Era Classic
Michael Tolver | Seattle Wa | 10/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This incredible album got lost in the Grunge feeding frenzy of the early nineties .I wouldn't consider them "grunge" as such though they share a vibe with Soundgarden. They hail from Boston, a perrenial Rock and Roll city. Track for track this album rocks as good as anything that was coming out of Seattle at the time. The songs have the unbridled fury of punk at its best, yet the musicianship is of the highest rank for this type of music. Yukki Gipes vocals are confrontational, spirited and plain in your face.
The title track starts off all mellow but then comes and bashes you in the head with a ball bat. "Between the Lines" begins with some nice dual guitar foreplay before kicking in to a full on megagroove that would has an almost funk like quality. "Rails"and "My Protector" tear it up. "What's in a Name?" recalls the anthemic energy of the Who. All in all this music is pissed off and yet articulate both musically and lyrically. And the drummer kicks ass! The furious energy is complimented by a strong melodic sensibilty that leaves a lot of the hard rock of the era in the dust."
Another great album that nobody heard
Justin Gaines | Northern Virginia | 05/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I hate to see a truly excellent album go unnoticed, but that is exactly what happened to Bullet Lavolta's 1992 release Swandive. I'm not really surprised that it didn't receive much attention when it was originally released. I mean, it was a melodic punk/kinda-sorta alternative rock album at a time when the rock scene was focused on the "last throes" of commercial metal and the rising wave of grunge. Still, Bullet Lavolta had a sound that should have appealed to fans of Soundgarden and Nirvana as well as bands like Green Day and the Offspring. You can't help but wonder what would have happened if the right people found this particular band.
Bullet Lavolta's style is rooted in the melodic punk made popular by Bad Religion and Social Distortion, yet really doesn't sound like either band. This is some fairly intense and aggressive stuff, yet it still maintains that melodic touch. Swandive is also very much an alternative rock album, in a way few grunge bands ever truly were. The only other bands that really come close are the hardcore bands Thirty-Two Frames and Avail. In fact, Swandive is very similar to the Avail's Lookout debut Satiate.
Once you hear it, Swandive is one of those albums that you'll want to buy fistfuls of copies and hand them out to everyone you know who is into this type of music. Given the fact that it is such a cheap album (as in a penny), you can afford to do just that."