The Bulemics

Soundtrack to the Apocalypse

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After Blackie Lawless, Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer, G.G. Allin, Cannibal Corpse, N.W.A., and the Geto Boys -- not to mention the original king of shock rock, Alice Cooper -- it is hard to get bent out of shape when a band goes out of its way to be offensive. But shock value can still be entertaining, and the Bulemics try their best to be as offensive as possible on Soundtrack to the Apocalypse. The CD's front cover depicts an attractive young blond woman (played by model Stefie Ho) tasting the blood of a pig that has recently been slaughtered -- she's tasting the blood with one hand while holding the pig's severed head with the other. Gruesome stuff, but not something that is meant to be taken seriously. From start to finish, Soundtrack to the Apocalypse is an exercise in sick humor -- whether Bulemics vocalist Gerry Atric is singing about suicide ("Goodbye Cruel World"), Satan-inspired violence ("Crime Spree"), or sexual favors in exchange for cocaine ("Fuck the Night Away"), the whole thing is very tongue-in-cheek. Some punk bands have a serious sociopolitical agenda, but the Bulemics aren't trying to fight the power; these Austin, TX, punks are all about dark, twisted, over-the-top humor. Recorded in 2001 and released in 2002, Soundtrack to the Apocalypse is hardly groundbreaking by 21st century standards -- 20 years earlier, there were plenty of punk bands doing this type of thing. But the Bulemics are good at what they do, and they have an appealing sound that recalls Los Angeles punk bands like Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, and the Germs. Soundtrack to the Apocalypse wins no awards for innovation, but those who have a taste for sick, irreverent humor will find that the CD offers a likable, if derivative, dose of old-school punk.

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