Bullets&Bubblegum
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Bullets&Bubblegum

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Eugene's BULLETS&BUBBLEGUM have a sparse acoustic guitar/synthesizer/electronic drum sound that's reminiscent of the Joy Division/early New Order formula. Vocalist Kim sounds a bit like Terri Nunn; this duo shows real promise, but could use a full band for variety. Their demo caught my attention more than any other. - Seattle Rocket, Demo Joe


This year, we had a very interesting situation. The scores among top finalists were so close, that we could not stop at awarding a First, Second, and Third Place winner. For the first time, we made the decision to have what we call the TOP TEN TALENTS! We are pleased to announce that YOU are one of the TOP TEN TALENTS!

"Immediately hooks the listener - Immediately distinct and impressive were the female vocals - Comparisons were made between her and Annie Lenox - There is excellent use of instruments - The music is hard-driving and progressive - That singer is amazing at turning her voice, and by extension herself, into an actual character - You can feel her emotions, her exhaustion, her sense of giving up - There is obviously some real talent there." - New Vibe Contest, Industry Judge


Keep in mind that this is my first exposure to Bullets&Bubblegum...Damn! Goddamngoddamngoddamn! Kim's voice is the most viagaratic substance I have ever encountered! Where the hell did you find her, man? She's a blend of Chrissie Hynde and Gwen Stefani - and all the good stuff, not the drug rehab, Davies' brothers' boinking parts!

Overall, if Bullets&Bubblegum is what they'd play over the main airwaves, I'd have faith in this country again - at least its music. (Let's face it - Iceland is kicking our ass artisticly right now major-label wise...that's not good!) Please, in the name of J. R. "Bob" Dobbs, keep the master works flowing!

Honestly, if Kim were to perform a dramatic reading of her grocery list on CD, I'd buy it! Ecclesiophobia is the best new work I've heard with a copyright date starting with a 2, Kim or no.

Rock on! - Xabu Indie Music Reviews, Carl Knorr


I will freely admit that I wasn't quite sure what to expect out of Bullets&Bubblegum, a Portland based duo that refers to its style as "Indie Post-Punk". Given that the heyday of the post punk era was some twenty years ago in the early 80's when bands such as the Cure and the Smiths became associated with the movement, and the rather colorful statement in B&B's press package for their new EP, Ecclesiophobia , that the duo was seeking "to perpetuate the themes of genuine experimental optimism and melodramatic individualism to construct intemperate and unremitting, sonorous bliss," what was this group going to sound like

Some twenty-five minutes later I am still a little unsure what to make of it. In only six songs Ecclesiophobia manages to incorporate fast songs, slow songs, an instrumental, a song in which Victor Sabula steps to the mike instead of normal lead singer Kimberly Reed, and a song originally written in 1977, almost predating the entire post-punk movement. Sounding a bit like Berlin in that group's more languorous moods, Bullets&Bubblegum similarly benefits from an outstanding female vocalist (Reed) fronting the project for most of the tracks ("Stray Gun" is fronted by Sabula, and "Second Coming" is an instrumental). As a duo there is a lot of reliance on electronics and drum machines that actually help set the music in time, but that also hinders the live feeling of the tracks at times. The EPs best track may be "When the Sky Pulls Down", which manages to pull off being simultaneously mellow and catchy, and both Sabula's energetic "Stray Gun" and the title track opener "Ecclesiophobia", featuring a soulful saxophone contribution by friend Dave Setny, also leave an impression.

Bullets&Bubblegum is a perfect example of the flip side of the modern indie music scene. While the seeming lack of variety on major radio stations frustrates many, the existence and availability of modern production facilities, CD replication, and yes, the internet, allows a project such as B&B to survive and thrive while aptly capturing a moment in time from the musical past. Post-punk's heyday may have come and gone, but bands such as Bullets&Bubblegum promise to keep the torch alive for fans of the genre. - Indie-Music.com, Eric Roberson


Musically if you merged the raw power of Kittie or Evanescence with the ethereal beauty of Mazzy Star or even Madder Rose,then added in the poppy synth pop style or the Rentals or maybe even Book of Love and a dash of the atmosphere of the Jesus & mary Chain, it might sound something like Ecclesiophobia. It's an interesting mix of darkly gothic elements with upbeat and friendly synthesizer sound.

The self-titled first track has a very somber and almost funereal sound, with keyboards that sound like a church organ and a mournful saxophone accompanied by an equally mournful solo guitar. The second track thunders in with 70's rocking guitar and bass sound, much akin to heart's Barracuda (that's the second time I've used this comparison in a review...kinda weird) merged with a modern synth appeal, creating a uniquely familiar listening experience.

Kimberly Reed's vocals have the style of 70's psychedelic rock goddess Grace Slick and also remind me a bit of the lead singer of Heart. They blend well on the heavy guitar tracks provided by Victor Sabula. Real standouts include 80's darkwave/shoegaze sound of "When The Sky Pulls Down" and the atmospheric rock sound of "Struttin' My Stride", which has a great riff. Sabula chimes in vocally on "Stray Gun".

The disc closes with "By This River" another edgy and moody number fueled by the same atmospheric guitar rock and melancholy yet pretty vocals. This disc will probably appeal to you most when you're feeling a little but down and require music that matches your overall mood. Also, this disc takes several spins to really grab hold of you. Don't judge after just one listen, you'd be missing out on something pretty damn cool. - South Of Mainstream.com, Compgeekgirl


Crave For Gone is a three-song disc released by Bullets&Bubblegum. For fans of moody guitars and mid-nineties girl groups like Lush, this is a short-but-sweet excursion into nostalgia land. The disc works best when singer Kimberly Reed is at the microphone; Victor Sabula, who shares the mic and lead guitar duties, sounds a bit too reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields, a distraction that wouldn't hurt on a longer-playing CD. Here it has the effect of making you want to rummage up those old MBV albums and give THEM a listen.

Kimberly Reed has an interesting uncertain quality about her voice, giving the songs a vulnerability they might not otherwise reflect. She and Sabula do harmonize nicely on the third track, "Seventeen," to a nice jangling guitar track.

The disc is far too short to see what potential the group really has; this Portland band should put their weight into a serious, full-length release and see what happens. In the meantime, this little sampler would work nicely on college radio, or on shuffle in your mp3 player along with Throwing Muses, Aimee Mann and Belly. - Indie-Music.com, J. Wallace


Discography

Bullets&Bubblegum: Bullets&Bubblegum 1999 LPCD [Whatta Blast Records WBR008]: 11 tracks
Bullets&Bubblegum: Ecclesiophobia 2003 EPCD [Whatta Blast Records WBR021]: 6 tracks
Bullets&Bubblegum: Crave For Gone 2005 EPCD [Whatta Blast Records WBR022]: 3 tracks
Bullets&Bubblegum: For The Living 2007 EPCD [Whatta Blast Records WBR023]: 5 tracks

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Bio

Bullets&Bubblegum, a trio from Portland, Oregon, are intent on infesting the Northwest with their brand of indie rock as what they term ‘Post-Peak’ music [an optimistic reference to life, invention and creativity in a post peak oil production world]. One fan has dubbed the Bullets&Bubblegum sound as ‘mandatory sonic provisions’, while another declares it to be ‘punk rock for the new millennium’.

Bullets&Bubblegum deliver an unusual musical montage colored with accents of underground pop and post-punk psychedelia. Citing such varied influences as Wire, New Order, The Fall, Bauhaus, The Clash, Sonic Youth, PJ Harvey, Interpol, Brian Eno, Cocteau Twins, Meat Puppets and Hüsker Dü, they seek to perpetuate the themes of genuine experimental optimism and melodramatic individualism to construct intemperate and unremitting, sonorous bliss.

To date, Bullets&Bubblegum offer the following releases on indie Whatta Blast Records:

Bullets&Bubblegum: Bullets&Bubblegum 1999 LPCD [Whatta Blast Records WBR008]: 11 tracks
Bullets&Bubblegum: Ecclesiophobia 2003 EPCD [Whatta Blast Records WBR021]: 6 tracks
Bullets&Bubblegum: Crave For Gone 2005 EPCD [Whatta Blast Records WBR022]: 3 tracks
Bullets&Bubblegum: For The Living 2007 EPCD [Whatta Blast Records WBR023]: 5 tracks

Their initial four song demo received the prestigious honor of being highlighted in the number one slot in the top ten of the Seattle Rocket's 1999 Demo-Listen Derby, and, the 2000 New Vibe Contest placed Bullets&Bubblegum among its top ten picks out of 706 bands.

Bullets&Bubblegum have been a Portland-based (OR) band since July of 2002, having started the project as a duo (between Victor and Kimberly) in Eugene (OR) in 1999. The band is now committed to developing itself predominantly as a recording project, finding true fulfillment in its studio productions. Bullets&Bubblegum plan to make Portland (OR) their base of operation for years to come.