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MAY 2004

> TEARS LIKE BULLETS (2004) | adam barrett

Amazing - the only word that truly came to mind sitting on a wooden coffee table and being blasted with CD quality acoustic versions of songs by Tears Like Bullets. Front man Kevin Fletcher sat Indian style and played me a couple of songs a few Fridays ago at 3 in the morning, while the rest of the room sang back up just as loud as they could have. If I would have known the lyrics I would have be right there with them. I sat and kept time with my foot, being that this is all I could do, and I wondered about how I could help spread the word. Then it hit me; don't I have something to do with a little ol' zine called Decomposition? After getting home and checking into it for a few weeks on the inside of beer cans and pizza boxes I realized that I did.

By the way, yes, I said CD quality. Not the live, quivering voiced, sloppy guitar shit that I've heard so much from bands that've had impromptu sessions before, but of the solid, I've spent way too much time crafting these lyrics and melodies variety. I hadn't spoken to Kevin since high school, and it's not like he was pandering to my magazine having will by playing that night, but afterwards I approached him and Wes Carroll (guitar) and asked about their next show.

I didn't know if the show was going to be as good as the unplugged session I'd heard before, but I walked into the show during one of their songs and migrated my way through the packed house and got as close to the band as I could. Energy is how I'd describe Tears Like Bullets. ALL of them had energy, Kevin came true singing his heart out with a powerful almost-Saves-The-Day sounding voice, Wes and bassist Chris Armstrong jumped around playing the shit out of their guitars, and even the drummer, Sean Smith, seemed like he did more than just keep the beat. If their music wasn't good, their energy would be enough to carry the show. But the music is good.

Tears Like Bullets has that Emo sound crossed with something a little more hardcore, and everything from the lyrics, to the vocals and music reflect it. Don't get it twisted thinking they're another one of these bullshit whiney voiced pop/punk bands that are popping up all over the place in the newest trend of processed music, TLB have enough of an edge to put them higher than the likes of Yellow Card and Simple Plan, if the opportunity ever arose, by sound alone.

Combine their sound, energy, and polish and you have one good show that might turn you into one of their dedicated fans overnight. During the show Chris knocked over the mic stand in a blaze of rock n' roll glory, only to have some of the fans pick it back up right before Kevin needed to sing again. They couldn't get the mic to fit back on the stand in time, but held it steady for the rest of the song. The band played on without missing a beat. Impressive considering they haven't been playing together that long.

With a mailing list hundreds of people strong, TLB's fans are definitely part of the excitement, and if you want to join in on the hype surrounding this up-and-coming band you can visit their website.

> BIOGRAPHY | about the author

Adam Barrett's writing has appeared in The IUS Review and in the anthology, Where Handstands Surprise Us.