Bully is a pretty cool band. They harken back to the fuzzy grunge music of the ’90s while doing enough unique things to stay interesting. Now, I’ll admit right away that I am a sucker for any vaguely punk band with a female vocalist and Bully is seriously giving me vibes from one of my favorite bands right now: Dilly Dally (Who I’ll be doing a throwback review of tomorrow). Like Dilly Dally, Bully uses effects-driven, fuzzed out guitar as a huge wall of sound for most of the tracks on “Losing”, and leading lady Alicia Bognanno’s voice is pretty damn similar to Katie Monks of Dilly Dally, though not as raspy.
Comparisons aside, I am really enjoying Bully’s second album “Losing” that just came out last month. The almost lazy, strung-out rhythm and singing on some of the tracks totally works with Bognanno’s self-deprecating lyrics. She exposes herself with issues I think most of us can relate to in a very cathartic way, whether she’s singing about feeling empty inside, missing a loved one, or trying (and maybe failing) to be a better person.
Most of the tracks on the album are solid. It starts off strong with “Feel the Same”, where the lyrics depict the morose, frustrated mood that’s present throughout the album. The next track “Kills to Be Resistant” is a great banger with an awesome, noodly guitar riff. “Blame” caught my ear right away with its jaunty guitar melody in the intro that quickly turns into a blown out great mess. “Focused” is a quieter track that showcases some of what makes Bully great in my opinion. The band does well when things mellow out in the vocals and guitar, and the rolling drum beat keeps everything on point. This all creates a great tension to when things do get loud and I think Bognanno’s voice is the most strained here on the entire record, and that is a good thing. When she gets as loud as this, there is so much raw emotion cutting through it’s impossible to ignore. Finally, I have to shout out “Either Way” which has a blazing guitar solo and is one of my favorite moments on the record.
The recording quality on “Losing” is notably great. Even at the most bombastic moments, the instrumentation doesn’t lose its clarity and become a muddled mess. And the vocals always cut nicely through the mix.
I do think the album could benefit with some more dynamic song structures. Some of the tracks end up blending together a little too much. Still, this is a solid album and it definitely makes me interested to hear more from Bully in the future. The band has certainly captured a great sound with a satisfying blend of sweet and sour.