Starting out “Bullet” with an acoustic and a style of vocals not unlike Jordan (from Against Me!) and Rise Against. The intensity and screamed-out vocals but the simultaneous striving for pop credibility are what put this band beyond so many others currently out on the scene. Very constant through the tracks, Jason’s voice would be benefited by some forays into slightly different inflections, but eir sheer intensity pushes the EP through any ruts that they may encounter. The brooding overhang of the synthesizer during “This Song Is A Bullet” adds ambience to an act that flirted maybe a little too closely with the Spartan ideal. Blastic through the tracks at breakneck speed, Summer of ’92 simply leave their audience wanting more, not necessarily in terms of instrumentation but in sheer terms of music stuck on the disc. None of the tracks broach the three-minute mark on “Bullet”, with the only upside that Jason’s easily-memorable vocals will have true fans singing along to every word of Summer of 92’s set. It is amazing each time someone with an acoustic actually breaks through the frat-rock-ocracy and provides something new; just like Jeff Ott and Phil Ochs before them, Jason and Matt are able to make something hard-hitting, emotionally compelling, and musically impressive.
During both “The Rhythm and the Rebel” and “Constantinople”, Summer of ’92 increases the vocal presence on the disc by doubling the harmonies found. This is truly a brilliant move, as the guitar continually overpowers Jason’s voice with its multi-faceted attack; have Matt join on the track with a second set of vocals and a new balance is struck. Slowing down matters for the penultimate track, “Small Rooms”, Summer of ’92 make great leaps in forging a dynamic style to go with their very unique sound. It is perhaps on “Small Rooms” where Jason’s vocals attain most closely a Reunion Show-tenor, a perfect contrast to the gruff vocals of Matt.
I usually shy away from buying EPs just for the simple fact that there is not enough music to sate me. “Bullet” falls into the problem that it does not have enough music, but it is ultimately sating in the sense that this disc could be left on repeat for days and people would still not get tired of it. I foresee nothing but wine and roses (or at least, critical acclaim). Pick up “Bullet” and the acoustic assault on the disc will pick you up, drag you down, bring you to euphoria and tears all in the space of fifteen minutes.
Top Track: This Song Is A Bullet