In a world filled with assembly line rappers, pop divas and bubblegum country, The F Bombers blaze a wide open trail. Every once in a while someone comes along to breath life back into a genre and in this case The F Bombers have stepped up to that task quite well. Precise, dynamic and visually active, the band combines the traditional umph of The Runaways, Kiss, The Dead Boys, and The Ramones with their own brand of muscle car mayhem.
Light years ahead of most male counterparts, Kim Pulsives’ junkyard tough vocals are immediately recognizable, grinding the raw influence of Jett and Joplin into her ‘50s retro microphone, a custom job that she carries everywhere she plays and well-suited for her growling delivery. Kim and Clay met in Florida while both on tour, Kim with the Bombers and Clay with Lower Class Brats. Clay understood Kim’s ultimate concepts and drive and decided to invest some serious hard work into The F Bombers with her. After numerous line-up changes they found current skins pounder Kevin and that’s that.
When I saw them at The Saint and heard the new stuff I was blown away. This band reeks of aggressive dedication that isn’t for the weak at heart. The F Bombers don’t wring their hands and wonder if they’re ever going to “make it,” they move themselves in that direction and it comes across live and on disc.
Speaking of the new disc, it’s called Pledge Allegiance and is curiously produced by major label kingpin Paul Logus, a guy who is best known as a top urban mixer. Logus has successfully bridged the gap to rock producer and musician, playing guitar with Jimmy Page on “Come With Me,” and Slash on “Benjamins.” He has since worked with Limp Bizkit, mixing and playing guitar on the “My Way Or The Highway” remix amongst others. His treatment of Pledge Allegiance is no nonsense, sleek and rough in the right measures.
The F Bombers burst out of the gate With “Forever Bound,” a fast and furious punk rock composition done with a straight-ahead, no-nonsense Suzie Quatro style. The bridge sets up Kimmie’s simple rhythmic lead break and the chorus breaks apart perfectly every time it comes around.
“Nobody’s Hero” is the anti-hero journey of regret, lost love and life gone wrong song of the disk, with a great ‘50s progressive feel. Kim lays her raspy lines down over the top of the sick, thick rhythm machine of Clay and Kevin. A really, really cool bridge completes this tune with the best dueling ‘70s octave lead this side of Queen.
“Whiskey And Cheap Wine” is one of the band’s more popular tunes live and on disc and it reminds me of that cool 1990s spurt of creativity from The Breeders. The chorus is one of the strongest on the disc, blending harmonies with a combination of stylistic jumps ranging from the Mommas And The Poppas to Courtney Love. Yeah, it’s a tricky set of influences that steer a particular sound, but that’s what makes a record-selling chorus here.
“We’re Not Going Anywhere” is a viscous anthem of drinking, beer bottle smashing good times. A tribute to their bar room brothers complete with boots, brawls, and hardcore shenanigans. Cool tandem shouted choruses and chainsaw guitars launch this song straight through the window and out onto the street.
“Perfect Storm” switches gears and heads down Treasure Island Drive with tales of ships, sailors and lots of rum. Dynamic bass and drums shadow acoustic guitars and melodies of silver and gold and dead men’s bones. Kim’s vocals come down a notch in volume but remain intense with her talent for storytelling prose.
“Billy Badass” is the poignant story of war in our times and the death of a friend in Iraq. Fueled by train-chugging guitars and wolverine-like vocals, The F Bombers spit out the bitter reality of people we know dying in a war for the unappreciative. The line, “Poor Billy badass / I’m so glad we got you back / I just wish it wasn’t in a body bag,” pretty much sums up what the country feels. Double time into the last chorus is lethal in both speed and intensity.
The band has a benefit compilation CD coming out on Jailhouse Records in December with proceeds going to a non-profit organization called Built On Respect (builtonrespect.com) to help Tibetan refugees in India. They were also invited by Glen Burtnik to play at his Christmas holiday show at the Count Basie Theater Dec.19.
Pledge Allegiance is a raw, smartly done record that takes this tough-as-nails band one step further up their ladder of growing popularity. With the band selling thousands of copies to date without any label, distribution or promo support from the mainstream, it’s a pleasure to see success for these Jersey punks. Go check them out and buy the disc at myspace.com/thefbombers.