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Bilmuri Cranks Hogs And Stands Out Amongst The Scene Beautifully With ‘AMERICAN MOTOR SPORTS’ 8.5
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Bilmuri Cranks Hogs And Stands Out Amongst The Scene Beautifully With ‘AMERICAN MOTOR SPORTS’

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Ohio natives Bilmuri have released their latest full-length record, entitled ‘AMERICAN MOTOR SPORTS’. This marks their first release since 2022’s ‘Goblin Hours’. Bilmuri consists mainly as Johnny Franck‘s solo project, but accompanied on this record by touring guitarist Reese Maslan and touring saxophone player/backup vocalist Gabi Rose. This record dives into combining such elements as country, pop, and metalcore. Lyrically, it dives into personal territory such as heartbreak and sobriety. All of this comes out into a record that feels very one of a kind to this scene, as Bilmuri are unlike any other artist in this scene. 

The record kicks off with one of the best songs of the year, with “BETTER HELL (Thicc Boi)”. It contains a chorus so huge and catchy that it’s meant to be stuck in your head all year. It’s the perfect track to start the album off with, since it feels like country-core at it’s finest and done expertly. It’s a delicate balance, but Bilmuri juggles all of these elements with such ease and it flows so well. The light piano in the background also feels like a nice touch to add to this wonderful song. It’s followed up with another one of the singles, and another absolute banger with “EMPTYHANDED”. Any song that contains what feels like one of the hardest mosh calls in history, with a Kevin James clip is one that’s easily a highlight. The chorus is once again a standout, and that certainly won’t be the last time on this record as we’re just getting started. It also feels like such a worthy track to follow the last, as the energy and melodies remain on top. Dylan Marlowe‘s feature on this track fits so well, the twang in his voice adds to the song and his and Johnny‘s voices go really well together. The banjo in the background here feels like such an inspired choice and just adds to the overall vibe of the record. We slow down after these two huge tracks with a more old-school slower country inspired track, with “MISS ME”. I appreciate how these tracks really fit the lyrical aspect as it’s one, or to similar themes. The chorus really gives off that country and chill atmosphere for a track like this, and it feels subtle and memorable. The acoustic guitar does a lot of heavy lifting, as well as the vocals to make this song feel at home at this placement on the record. And I appreciate how well Bilmuri incorporates new sounds and runs with it like they always have. 

We pick it back up with one of the catchier songs from the record, with “SPINNIN’ YOU AROUND”. Even though I can say the same for a lot of these tracks, I can see this one especially going over well live. The riff after the chorus might be one of the nastiest riffs I’ve heard in my life, and in a song like this is amazing. I also really appreciate the guitar solo, then followed by an out of nowhere breakdown so it feels very on brand for them. The record reaches the halfway point with arguably my favorite track from the record, with “2016 CAVALIERS (Ohio)”. It starts with an acoustic guitar, into a hell of an opening riff and one of my favorite from the album. This feels like the best example of a song to roll your windows down to while driving out in this weather. Shoutout to the sax by Gabi, since it stands out especially on this track and won’t be the last. Knox‘s feature on this song feels so seamless and perfect, as it’s his second collab with Bilmuri after 2022’s “CORN-FED YETIS”. They truly have the ear and the pro strats to write a catchy, huge chorus as it’s very present on here. The second half of the album opens with the first single from the record, with “ALL GAS”. I appreciate how fully incorporated Mitchell Tenpenny‘s feature is on this track, and how it starts off the song from the jump. His feature feels so on brand for the record, and it’s a nice change of pace as this one leans more in the pop direction. The riffs on here and just the overall vibe feels insanely groovy, all gas and no brakes is also such a great mosh call at the end. I probably would’ve picked “BETTER HELL” as a lead single over this, but it’s still a solid choice for it since it feels like one. 

We’re followed up by one of this band’s best tracks overall, with “BLINDSIDED”. This track just has an overall great vibe to it, the melodies are strong and it hits hard when the chorus comes in and the riff starts. I can see this one being a big sing-along when it comes to a live setting. The lyrics stand out here too, as it feels genuinely open and this type of lyricism feels present throughout all of these tracks. I really do appreciate just how wild Bilmuri can get with instrumentation or the design of a song, while still having lyrics that are sad and hit hard. Big shoutout to the guitar solo by Reese, and the sax solo once again by Gabi and her background vocals here too. Her and Johnny‘s vocals really complement each other really well, and it’s especially perfect for live shows. It really feels like a nice lil’ showcase for all the members of this project. It’s then followed by another huge track, with “STRAIGHT THROUGH YOU”. I appreciate this three-song run here capturing a lot of the energy from the releases prior to this one, showcasing how well they mix pop and heavy elements together. A R I Z O N A‘s feature here really adds to just how huge this feels, and the sax is the icing on top of this beefcake right here. The chorus feels massive and almost euphoric in a sense, and that says a lot with an album filled with huge melodies and choruses. We get to the penultimate track and one of the singles, with “TALKIN’ 2 UR GHOST”. Shoutout to how hilarious the video is for this one, their rollout of these videos was perfect and goes to show that less is more. But this brings back the country-core vibes from the majority of this record, for these last couple tracks. The riffs feel like they’re doing overtime on this song, and the chorus feels pretty bouncy too. The violin solo was such an unexpected, but welcome addition to this song too and shows this band is willing to try literally everything. I just love the whole vibe of this record and how well the melodies are on each and every track. We close out the record with a more slow burn kinda one, with “DRUNK ENOUGH”. This track feels like a fitting way to end the album, as it feels like it incorporates elements from the last nine songs. And I appreciate how honest these lyrics feel, they have been for all these songs but especially here. I also appreciate how this builds up throughout the song to end it nicely.

To no one’s surprise, ‘AMERICAN MOTOR SPORTS’ by Bilmuri is a testament to how lucky this scene should be that we have an artist like them making music like this. They feel like they’re soon to be one of the faces of this scene, with how unique and specific their music feels to them and no one else amongst their peers. This album includes multiple song of the year contenders and I can see people latching onto this record this summer, as they should. 

VERDICT

8.5

FINAL RATING8.5
Reader Rating: ( 2 votes ) 9.1

Mathew Abraham I love movies just as much as I love music.
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