Kepi Ghoulie

I Bleed Rock 'N' Roll

Kepi Ghoulie wasn’t messing around with the title of his latest solo effort. Falling somewhere between Social Distortion, the Exploding Hearts and Violent Femmes, I Bleed Rock ’N’ Roll is decidedly the most straightforward rock record of his 15-plus-year career. Kepi’s signature silliness is still very much a part his songwriting, but does not take the center stage as it did in his previous solo records. The songs are still simple and fun, but carry a little more weight than your average Saturday morning cartoon theme.

“Nikki Lee” hits hard and fast with fervent alliteration, reverbed guitars and a no-frills power-pop hook. The title track is a love song to rock ’n’ roll itself, punctuated with big guitar riffs and a heart-thumping rhythm. Kepi brings it down a notch in “I Just Wanted You To Know”; a simple, heartfelt and vulnerable love song that anxiously exposes his true emotions. On the other side of the emotional spectrum, “Break My Heart” bites the bullet for an inevitable breakup. Kepi flexes his creative muscle when he describes picking his heart up out of the gutter, putting it through a shredder and then asking a tailor to fix it.

Although I Bleed Rock ’N’ Roll has more subdued lyrical silliness than past albums, it is certainly his hardest rocking solo effort and a fitting progression in his prolific career.

Asian Man

“Nikki Lee”