Local Record Review: Bullets for Breakfast from Garden Grove

Beat Blvd. is Heard Mentality's weekly review of local releases. If you're an OC musician or band with something new to offer--vinyl single, full length album, CD, cassette--we want to hear from you! Send copies, along with any photos and PR material, to Beat Blvd., c/o OC Weekly, 2975 Red Hill Ave., Suite 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. You can also e-mail us digital downloads at lbose@ocweekly.com.

Bullets for Breakfast
Tea, Crumpets and Loneliness
FatKid Records

After all that idiocy about Imperial Stars supposedly being a  hip-hop/alternative group from OC, it's kinda nice to deal with a local duo that is much more focused on the real thing. (They'd also would probably do charity work for real rather than block a freeway.) Garden Grove's Bullets For Breakfast has been at it for some years now. and their short, self-released debut showcases Jonas Grumby and Manifest's chill-dudes-next-door delivery, reflecting about the vagaries of life, the collapse of love and the grind of both.

Tea, Crumpets and Loneliness is not something that will get people going on about reinventing sonic architecture or the like, but that's part of the appeal. There's something engagingly scrappy and quietly intense on songs like "Dear Mrs. Mata" and "Solitude"--a latter a reflection on a bygone relationship that is both the most electronically gothed-out moment on the album ("Never Forget December" runs a close second) and a hell of a way to use the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez as a reference point.

The portrayal on "Penny" of someone "peeking through your window" at an ex is pitched somewhere between narrative metaphor and full-on stalking; a response song from the point of view of the title character would be something to hear, but the unlisted conclusion "Empty Nest (Because I Never Said I'm Sorry)," a softly sung acoustic number, almost serves as the recognition of going too far. "Puzzle Place," with its "Everything sucks, everything's fine" couplet at the core, captures their sense of mood swings and just aiming to make it perfectly, with the slow, moody crawl of the arrangement suggesting both darker corners and a perfect, easy swagger.

All that and a great, snooty British voice introducing the album and various songs therein -- not to mention his final "But I just don't really get it! What is this story even ABOUT?" rant at the end.


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