As Accept drift further into their dotage, releasing pleasant but inessential facsimiles of their former selves, and Udo Dirkschneider seems now hellbent on simply reliving old times out on the road in middle America, the need has never been greater for a band that sounds exactly the same as Accept circa 1983. That band is Sweden’s Bullet.
Dust and Gold could easily be the album, thought long lost by Accept experts, clandestinely recorded by Wolf, Udo and the boys between Restless and Wild and Balls to the Wall. Slipping easily between Judas Priest, AC/DC and Krokus influences just like their forbears, Bullet really have recorded the quintessential early eighties Teutonic rock album.
The fact that they’re Swedish and we are now, by my reckoning, living in 2018 shouldn’t matter to you at all if you still own a battle jacket and see headbanging whilst trying not to spill the beer you’re holding AND play air guitar simultaneously is a worthwhile use of your time.
Tracks like Rogue Soldier are, frankly, unstoppable, nay irresistible slices of proper melodic heavy metal; vocalist Hell Hofer is a rip-roaring dead ringer for the early-middle aged Udo on tracks like Fuel the Fire and Screams in the Night, whilst guitarist Hampus Klang – surely one of the greatest names in metal – and his six string brother in arms Alexander Lyrbo riff and solo with the dead-eyed precision of the true masters to whom they doubtless bow in supplication every night before bedtime.
Highway Love would have been a radio staple all over Europe in 1988, sounding for all the world like a gloriously overblown Britny Fox outtake. The closing title track is a game stab at the sort of epic every band needed in it’s set back in the day, building slowly and dramatically.
Bullet aren’t reinventing the wheel; but they are putting a great deal of air in to it, pumping new life into a genre that has become a bit moribund in the hands of it’s authors. This music won’t trouble your brain, but it’s hard to imagine a more enjoyable way to spend forty minutes these days without removing your toupee. And that’s saying something. Hats off to Hampus and Hell!
Dust to Gold is out now.