Review - BulletProof Messenger "Arm Yourself" (2009)


1 Mar 2009, 9:36

From my blog at Rawkfist Music

Written by Andrew Hart

There are a lot of bands that have a bit of electronic fun with their music, and then there's BulletProof Messenger. Electronic vibes and beats are the calling card of this six man unsigned enigma, and if you don't believe me, one of those six is just there to play with the beeping noises. Unsigned is however, the last word you'd think to describe this band who's crisp production and masterful hooks would compete with some of the best in the business, and now BulletProof Messenger attempts to get signed once more with their sophomore album, Arm Yourself.

Not convinced when I mentioned those hooks? Good luck escaping the insanity of "This Fantasy." This opening track is enough to get jaws dropping right away and demonstrate the absolute flawless integration of turntable madness into the modern rock scene. I have no idea just how BulletProof Messenger adds the electronic sounds to their hard rock jamming, but they do a damn good job of it. One of the things that makes each track stand out is the unique electronic sound that can be added to each one. For example, "This Fantasy" relies on a standard pulse-pounding turntable vibe, while the follow-up track "Move On" begins with a much more distant sound. The difference is noticeable, but the tracks are of course similar in how ridiculous catchy they are, and it only gets better with the big-time standout that is "Lose It All."

But enough blabbering about the beeps and boops of BulletProof Messenger, I did mention this is a six man operation after all. Frontman Marcus has a crystal clear and well-ranged voice that sounds like a variation of Trapt's Chris Brown. The similarities in style are clear, and BulletProof Messenger brings a lot of punch to every song to keep themselves in that league. The riffs are outstanding, the drum beats addictive, and most importantly, every song combines them to form some dangerously powerful hooks. It's hard to listen to all of Arm Yourself without being consciously aware of every song change, and that's an impressive feat to say the least. These hooks have even evolved significantly from their 2006 debut The Crucial Line, an album that had a lot of strong material but a fairly similar sound. Here, every song is unique, right down to the downright haunting intro of "No Way Out" or the brilliantly paced and piano-lined "Where We All Belong." The only exception is the purely instrumental "DLD," a real shame considering the success of "11:59" on the previous album.

Just about every album has it's shortcomings though, and Arm Yourself is no exception sadly. The previously mentioned "DLD" is a boring minute-long instrumental that may has well not have even been placed on the album, and is not alone in this fact. I say this, because it appears BulletProof Messenger's ambition for epic tracks may have gotten the best of them, as some of the songs seem to unnecessarily drag at the beginning or end. Album closer "Step Out" is particularly guilty of this sin. It's constant beat is a welcome and powerful album-ender, but it goes on by itself for far too long, to the point where you're bored with it and it loses the effect. "No Way Out" also has a solid two minutes of instrumentation before kicking in with much of anything. This sounds like critiquing just to critique as a reviewer who enjoys "epic" rock music, but BulletProof Messenger simply does not provide enough kick to these lengthy installments to make it worth of your time.

To say anything else would be nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking. BulletProof Messenger as an unsigned band is among the best you'll ever hear, on the power of the hooks alone. They're not an overwhelmingly complex band, but by their powers combined they've been able to create some of the catchiest music I've heard in years (trust me that's a lot of music). If and when this band gets signed, there's no doubt they'll get some airplay, and rightfully so.

The Point - Arm Yourself is an electronically charged blast of energy with enough hooks to catch an ocean worth of listeners. Despite some overly lengthy songs, there's no doubt the band has the potential to create some great music, and has on this album.

9 out of 10

Download This - "Lose It All"

BulletProof Messenger
Arm Yourself
Lose It All
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  • BairdTapir

    listen to grand disaster great song

    4 Mar 2009, 18:56
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