A durable missile that went amiss to be remelted into HARD STUFF but hot and stinging still.
It looked like a promising project, when two Johns, Du Cann and Gustafson, had left, respectively, ATOMIC ROOSTER and QUATERMASS and, together with the former band's drummer Paul Hammond, joined forces in BULLET. Hoping to hit the charts, the progressive heaviness wasn't to be discarded, but the name, shared with an American group, was. Thus, HARD STUFF came to be to go and release two albums for Purple Records, the first being 1972's "Bulletproof", demoed two years before, and in this case "demo" means a whole record from which the finished product took only a part. Cue "The Entrance To Hell".
Released for the first time now, those tapes don't have the streamlined impact of "Bulletproof", yet sound somehow fresher in their rawness that's to the fore not only in some jams, including the title one, but in the sharp, if loose, rock 'n' roll swagger of "Sinister Minister" or "Millionaire", where Gustafson's bass rumble greatly complements Du Cann's guitar riffs. Several cuts - "Monster In Paradise" dating back to John G's days with EPISODE SIX and later recorded by Ian Gillan, and "The Soul That I Had", bluesy as in John DC's ANDROMEDA time - reek of the musicians' psychedelic past. But everything is in hard rock vein here, "Time Gambler" feeling possessed, whereas "No Witch At All" provides a space for Du Cann to lay the rhythmic frame and solo endlessly at the same time, all the while doing the harmony vocals (are there other songs, save for The Fabs' "I'm So Tired" to mention Walter Raleigh?). More so, there's a funky grit in the two stringers' attack that Hammond's beats fly around; it's most prominent in their only co-write "The Orchestrator", clealy underdeveloped but fizzy, and in the bottom line of "Mr. Longevity".
Sadly, the destiny didn't deal longevity for this band. But while they lasted they were great, as is having BULLET back in one's skull.