Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Bully : "Losing"
I had already heard the first song off this album during my research for the top 50 songs of the year list Treblezine was doing. The second song is noisy and not as hooky as the first song, but over all they cruise along the kind of detached indie rock that bands like Sebadoh made popular in the 90s. More organic and less focused on the atmosphere created by bands like Sonic Youth. The guitar parts are more interesting and melodic than punk. On "Running" Alicia lets her voice go into more of a scream. This is contrasted by the sugary layers of backing vocals that harmonize under her , but there is enough of an edge to keep them from sounding like Haim. The songs are short and sweet with only two crossing the four minute mark.
More moods begin to crop up as the album progresses. "Seeing It " being bass driven , but more introspective than the first few songs. There is a looser boozy feel to "Guess There' which like many of these songs has some grunge around it's edges. "Blame" has that warm guitar sound that takes me back to 1995. Alicia's voice is what brings you back from the nostalgia and into this band's own identity. "Focused" ponders some of the drug mishaps and how they effect her mental state. This reflective tone makes "Not the Way" come across as to simplistic and straight forward.Even though there is a rough edge to "Spiral" it has a enough smarts to balance out. "Either Way" goes back to the more snotty raw punk tendency of the band.There is something awkward about "You Could Be Wrong" that doesn't really work itself out until the chorus.
They go into the more indifferent grunge strum of "Hate and Control" to close out the the album. This seems an odd note for them to end on though it's not a bad song.It does end more powerfully than it starts. I will give this album a 9. There are no bad songs some of them just connect with me stronger than others. Having grown up during this era of indie rock most of this album is very familiar, I like how she injects some pop sensibilities into what she does and will keep my ears open for them.It makes sense that Sub-pop is releasing this Nashville band's new album as they sound more Seattle than Nashville.