Well, what the hell these aussies had in mind when they did chose The M-16's as a bandname when they started? Some eagle fog in space, the weapon, a antiperson mine from the US Army? Anyway..the newest inspiration of this word is: a australian rockband from Perth, high energy rock in best Sydney meets Detroit tradion! Bandleader Ken Watt did also played with ASTEROID B-612, which might make you think of the more military meaning of their bandnames, but, who knows.
The music leaves no questions open: ASTEROID B612 meets RADIO BIRDMAN, BORED! or CELIBATE RIFLES, the guitar would make Nicke Hellacopter proud (comparisons to his band & M-16's are obvious..there could be some things worse), so, as a result, this album is a must for every fan of australian rock.
Joachim Hiller, Ox Fanzine (Germany)
Just as the Hellacopters and other bands have been doing for some time now,
the M-16's have given themselves the task of continuing the saga of high
energy that began at the end of the 60s in Detroit and continued perfectly
through Australian punk in the 70s. Ex- Asteroid B-612 Ken Watt's band has
recorded a notable debut album, with some screaming guitars that make you
want to grab your tennis racquet (like you did as a teenager) and leave you
with a dislocated neck. I imagine that they wouldn't be too happy with the
comparisons made to the Swedish band, since the M-16's have enough of a
winning background so as not to need comparisons, but no-one can deny that
"Get Ready" could perfectly well have been penned by Nicke Royale. On top of
this, this CD gathers the three songs that made up the now impossible to
find first EP from this fantastic Perth combo. Don't miss out on these!!
J.F. Leůn, Sonic Wave Magazine (Spain)
All those who were missing the late 90's australian high-enery rock'n'roll
(Powder Monkeys, Brother Brick, Asteroid B-612) can start to cheer up in
finding another musical and spiritual guide : The M-16's , the band of Ken
"killer" Watt; the guitar player who replaced Stew "leadfinger" Cunningham
in Asteroid B-612 : it was a very hard job for him to be compared with the
former Asteroid (and Brother Brick, Yes-Men and Challenger 7) guitar player
but Ken, in that situation, proved to come through it. When he came back to
Perth he managed to form a new band : M-16's indeed.
And, here it is, the australian power trio finally in action with its first
album "Loose Bullets" for the new label "Reverberation" : half an hour of
high-energy guitar driven rock'n'roll. Eight sonic assaults with no breaks;
the opening track "Kick out the blues" is a warning for what we are going to
listen in the next seven tracks : from the dynamic "Shivers and Shakes" to
the head-on collision of "Nothing to Lose", from the feverish "Get Ready" to
the deafening rock'n'roll of "Losing my ranks", the musical style of The M-16's is
loud and very clear. "Loose Bullets" is their devastating debut album : take
it or leave it.
Roberto CalabrÚ, Freakout Magazine (Italy)
Forgive the over-familiarity but I've been living with an unmastered version of this mini-album from Perth's M-16's for six months so me and "Loose Bullets" are on close terms. How you'll perceive it comes down to your own personal musical poison. Some will cite contemporary touchstones, like the Hellacopters or the closer-to-home Monarchs (R.I.P.). Me, I'm coming from the direction of Sonic's Rendezvous Band (although, along with everyone else, The M-16's lack their range of songs or Morgan soulfulness). Bottom line is, kids , it's all great and long overdue grist for the rock and roll mill.
It's overdue, because this mini-album has been four years in the making. And because guitar bands with this sort of Rock Action ethos are thin on the ground in Australia. There are lots of fuzztone afficianadoes, '70s pub rock is amply covered, as is two-chord thrash. No problem with all that, but this is something different (more on that soon).
The CD's called "Loose Bullets" because, in a sense, that's what the songs are - a clip of heavy cased, hollow-points that were left lying around the armoury. This is a band that was troubled by false starts but is now settled into a solid three-piece line-up (supplemented by second guitarist David Hopkins in the live setting). It's also one that's obviously itching to be known outside its native Perth.
So how's it sound? Mix some guitar-lathered rock songs, a dynamite engine room, lots of clean but scorching solos and a singer with a guitar player's voice - no offence intended whatsoever; they're the sort of vocalists we seem to get into most of the time around here - and you're close. Minimum distortion, maximum energy.
"Killer" Ken Watt is at the epicentre, writing all the tunes, playing guitar spectacularly well and singing everything. That's not to underplay Brad Miller's importance on bass. His fluid, emphatic lines play most of the competition under the table. Current (and permanent) drummer Adam Sciullo plays on the lion's share of the eight songs and doesn't put a stick wrong.
The tunes are more than respectable without being unforgettable. "Losin' Time" b/w "Sweet Luck" was the debut single; it's here and still sticks best, despite it being a hasty studio-written job. The occasional hand claps and "ooo-oooh" choruses struggle to cut throiugh. Given time to write and a budget to spend, the album will build on this. Most bands would kill to have this sort of foundation.
Considering the off-and-on nature of the recording sessions, "Loose Bullets" sounds remarkably coherent. It's also essential for your collection. This is a band poised to pursue greatness (as the recent East Coast Australian shows demonstrated).
The Barman, The I-94 Bar (Sydney)
WARNING! This recording contains rock claps, and may provoke spontaneous air guitar in public, or worse, in the bedroom. Alive with big riffs, and old school race-car cool, Loose Bullets will get you caught singing along, and shaking all over in no time. Catchy as it may be, the M-16sí sexed up pub rock, makes the current crock of so called rock and roll sound all too lame, the difference being these songs have balls.
No sitting back, straight away they start unloading rounds with Kick Out Those Blues, chock-full of frantic finger work and manic bass runs that canít be kept on a leash. Shivers and Shakes has a leather jacket and tight jeans feel about it Ė one line pretty much sums up the care-free, rocking, good time vibe of the album: ďShakiní my arse in the pouring rain.Ē Freedom to sprout off on trigger-happy tangents is kept clean and tight by gritty, repetitious rhythms. Keeping to this simple recipe is Sweet Luck, with its raw garage rock and Datsuns-like distortion.
Beefy riffs and out of control solos make it impossible not to picture the boys on stage, back to back, busting every axe move out of the kit bag, not stopping even when blood from their fingertips begins dripping from the frets. Nothing to Lose is a little more settled but when they break it down you know itís only a matter of time before they start mowing you down again with Rambo-style machine gun guitarwork. Itís for this reason that Get Ready is such an appropriate title for track five, slow at first then building up and cutting sick. Losing Time has a hoedown drive and finishes with a big, drawn out, dramatic rock finale. Itís cheesy, but it works because itís honest and they have the skills, experience and cheeky confidence to pull it off.
James Ridley, Beat Magazine (Melbourne)
The M-16ís have a genuine reputation for ear splitting volume, big rock moves and longhaired motor city inspired rock. Consequently, it must have been a daunting prospect for the Perth trio to try and capture that kind of energy on the plastic platter. However, the guitar-toting west coast rockers led by young veteran Ken "Killer" Watt (Valvolux, Asteroid B-612) have delivered a raw, pounding and explosive 8-tracker with frenetically rifftastic live dynamics. Fittingly, "Loose Bullets" has been released by East Coast label Reverberation, the imprint fronted by noted M-16ís inspirations Russell Hopkinson (You Am I, Bamboos) and Ian Underwood (Kryptonics, Challenger 7). No doubt, Rusty and Ian saw much of their past in these future rock heroes: a Reverberation indeed. The rhythm section for the M16s is Adam Sciullo (Fourstroke) hammering the skins on most of the tracks and Brad Miller on mesmerizing and furious bass action. This solid bed leaves Watt on guitar and vocal to lead the theatrics on tracks such as the standouts "Get Ready" and "Nothing to Lose". This one will go on to be an RTR local classic before and after its time. Move over Birdman and the Rifles. These boys are gunna cut you to ribbons.
David Cutbush, RTR FM Newsletter (Perth)