Bulletproof Vests – Attack!

January 01, 1970

(Electric Room Records)





Memphis upstarts the Bulletproof Vests were one of BLURT’s “Best
Kept Secret” picks last fall – you can read our profile and interview here
and at the time they’d recently done a limited-edition private run (like, 100
copies) of their debut album Attack! As noted in the story, however, local label Electric Room was planning on
repressing the record and distributing it nationally. Based on this humble
reporter’s impressions of the tunes both then and now, any self-respecting
aficionado of garage and power pop (and maybe a little bit o’ Memphis soul, too) should not be without this
in their collection.


It kicks off with the one-two groover punch of  “Magic Wand” (an anthemic bit of pop/soul that
could pass for classic-era J. Geils Band) and “Down In Yer Pocket” (sixties-flavored,
R&B-tinged psychedelia; listen for the backwards guitar solo!) effectively
establishing the quintet’s bonafides. From there the genre-hopping commences,
one moment touching down in twangy, Rockpile-styled pub-rock (“Darlin’ Wait”),
slinkysmokysexycool fifties pop with Latin flourishes (“Picture Show”), full-on
garage raveup (“Queenie In Trouble”), and slam-bam pop glam (“To The Moon” –
the song that initially hooked me on the band, it sounds like a cross between
Big Star and T. Rex).


At 10 songs clocking in just over a half-hour, Attack! gets in and gets out without
wasting a second of your time, and it’s testimony to the band’s songwriting
prowess that you want to spin the platter again the moment it’s finished – the
tunes are as addictive as they are varied, and they boast a full-bodied sound
that may have its origins in the garage but has clearly been honed with finesse
in the studio. Any number of these tracks would sound great blaring from the
car stereo. (I should know; I road tested the CD.)


Featuring brothers Jake and Toby Vest on guitars and vocals,
Greg Faison on drums, Dirk Kitterlin on keyboards and Brandon Robertson on
bass, the Bulletproof Vests slot together in classic Memphis tight-but-loose fashion, as a result
constituting one of the more exciting young bands to emerge from that city’s
always-bustling, ever-mutating music scene.


Standout Tracks: “To
The Moon,” “Down In Yer Pocket,” “Queenie In Trouble” FRED MILLS




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