Independent musicians Sammi Doll (formerly of IAMX) and Jon Courtney (formerly of Pure Reason Revolution) both went to Berlin looking to find a new sound and a sense of adventure in their music that they each thought had been previously lacking.
And, as is the beginning of most great stories, what they found was each other.
Singer, song writer, guitarist and keyboard player Jon Courtney, originally of Reading, Berkshire, England parted from Pure Reason Revolution and moved to Berlin to write music that he describes as ‘darker and heavier’ than anything he’d written before. The music he made would eventually become several of the tracks on No Atonement.
Singer Sammi Doll had moved from Los Angeles to that same German city to tour with IAMX, but when the tour was cancelled Sammi and Jon’s paths crossed and a new band was born from the ashes of chances taken and expectations shattered.
No Atonement is like a dark ode to everything that was simultaneously heartbreaking and wonderful about being seventeen; when we were too honest and raw to play it coy and we would scream our lungs out just to prove we were still there. It’s new nostalgia for everything it reminds the listener of while still having new and interesting things to bring to the table.
As someone for whom lyrical content is paramount, a couple of their songs – such as Wild Words and Bastion – left me feeling left out of the loop and a little bit dizzy. However, I was reeled immediately back in with harshly impressive percussions and a revival of Static X – meets – Kidney Thieves electronics that I’d thought died with the birth of dubstep. Never was I happier to be proved wrong if it meant I could hear a mind-blowing amalgamation of 80s synthetics, 90s glamorous gothic metal melodies and a twist of the late 10s that never lets you forget that while this feels like something old, it’s actually something very new.
Bullet Height has found a new and devoted fan in this reviewer, and I can’t wait to see what new risks they take and what new and old and stunningly original direction they take their next albums along the course of what I hope is a long career full of risks always taken and expectations always and creatively shattered.