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Fun Cards: 1988 Topps Marq Torien and Mick Sweda (BulletBoys)

Continuing the hair metal love…

I just found out the BulletBoys will be playing in Cincinnati this weekend, so I thought I would whip up a couple of music “fun cards”…

Marq Torien

Marq Torien is the original vocalist and only remaining original member in the current lineup. The band has changed its sound on several occasions, but the hair metal heritage is strong on the 1988 debut album. The big songs are “Smooth Up In Ya” (US Hot 100 #71, US Mainstream Rock #23) and the cover “For the Love of Money” (US Hot 100 #78, US Mainstream Rock #38).

Mick Sweda

Mick Sweda is no longer with the band, but his guitar skills played a major role in the band’s early success. The BulletBoys’ cover of Tom Waits‘ “Hang On St. Christopher” on the second album, Freakshow, is out of this world.

The band’s third album, Za-Za, was their last for Warner Bros. Records, and the last appearance of Mick Sweda with the group.

The current lineup of the BulletBoys (Torien, Nick Rozz, Chad MacDonald, and Anthony “Tiny” Biuso), along with openers Enuff Z’nuff and a ton of local groups, will be performing at The Venue Saturday night. Click here to buy tickets!

Click here to buy the latest BulletBoys album, From Out of the Skies.

Christmas gift ideas for your rock ‘n’ roll fan

Rock isn’t dead, and here are ten records to prove it. If the rocker in your life likes classic hard rock, there’s a good chance he’ll love some of these albums. They are not all brand new, but there are some hidden gems that even the most grizzled rockers have not heard.


Of course, if your special rocker is into stuff off the beaten path, check out these bluegrass records that really rock:
Possum Kingdom Ramblers

And then there are books about music…

Elefanté by BulletBoys (2015)


by BulletBoys
Cleopatra/Deadline Records, 2015
40 minutes

Hard rock bands come and go, but there are a few names that consistently reappear from time to time. Though Marq Torien is the only original member left in the band, BulletBoys are back with a new record to the delight of hair metal freaks everywhere, even if it sounds little like the “Smooth Up In Ya” era. Torien enlists superb musicians on Elefanté: Nick Rozz (The Tattooed Millionaires) on guitar, Chad MacDonald (Jani Lane, Kevin Dubrow) on bass, and Shawn Duncan (Odin, DC4) on drums.

Together they have created a solid record that hearkens back to the glory days while updating the sound for a modern audience. For the most part Elefanté sounds more in line with a Hinder record than Poison, but it rocks just the same. The record opens with a dark guitar riff on “Rollover,” setting the stage for a barrage of hard rock perfect for those hungry for a heavy (but not too heavy) sound.

The best tracks are the rockers “Rollover” and “Symphony” and the ballad “Kin Folk.” “Drop Your Weapon” has an awesome groove that will have you singing along by the second chorus; unfortunately it is ruined by a couple of f-bombs near the end. Hearing the group cover another artist’s song is no surprise; other than “Smooth Up In Ya,” the BulletBoys’ most memorable songs from their early career were cover songs. Here, the Elton John cover is performed well, but a better song could have certainly been chosen. Those are the two songs that disappoint the most on Elefanté.

Despite those missteps, Elefanté is a strong hard rock record that BulletBoys fans will appreciate.

You can preview “Rollover” and “Symphony” at

1. Rollover
2. Tsunami
3. Symphony
4. The Villain
5. Kin Folk
6. Saving You From Me
7. As Dumb As
8. Superhuman Girl
9. Drop Your Weapon
10. B**** is Back (Elton John cover)
11. Elefanté

Learn more about Cleopatra/Deadline Records.

Learn more about BulletBoys.

Purchase BulletBoys – Elefanté.

Top 50 Hair Metal Songs: #28 – BulletBoys “Smooth Up In Ya”

Like numerous other bands, BulletBoys went through several lineup changes over the years with the lead singer being the only constant. In 2009, the group released a very good album called 10c Billionaire on an independent (now defunct) label. Of course, nothing they ever do will ever compare with “Smooth Up In Ya.”

Other songs considered: “For The Love Of Money,” “Talk To Your Daughter”

Purchase BulletBoys music.

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