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Killed By The Bull | review | punk | Lollipop

Killed By The Bull

by Dan Bernal

This CD tears out of the stereo, and inside of 10 seconds, I found myself back at a Descendents show in '88, remembering my old riding/skater buds, and the Faith No More that Cared a Lot. The raw, unrefined energy of Killed by The Bull is immediately infectious. Singer/ guitarist Justin Fullam blends jangley, driven, clean tones with the kind of slightly off-tune, sardonic vocals that dragged me to so many "pop-core" all-ages shows. Drummer Bill McVeigh smacks you around from start to finish with enough rock-solid beats and old-school machine-gun snare fills to pave the early '80s skate park beneath rambling but cohesive arrangements. "Came Up From The River" adds a hint of reggae within the same loose, live-sounding framework and dives off into a nearly Zeppelin-like instrumental/vocal melody interlude. These are big songs highlighting solid roots (including alums from Revelation Records, once home to Boston hardcore anchor In My Eyes) and a broad compositional vision. Fullam stands on less-sure vocal footing, however, in "The Comfort At The Bottom," slowing the band down to an unconvincing alt-rock meander that fails to deliver like the CD's earlier reckless volatility. I'd bank on Killed By The Bull throwing down a killer show. In their stronger moments, these guys show the spark of an enduring band.


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